A Letter For My Daughter at 4

My darling Claire,
4 years ago at 3:39 in the morning 
you came into the world.
I can't even type that sentence without
tears brimming in my eyes.
You came to me in a quiet, dimly lit room
with your daddy and I waiting eagerly
to see you.

Two things that stand out to me most 
in that moment when the doctor lifted you 
up from out of me.I saw your wet body noticed right away
your birth mark on the centre of your tummy.
Immediately I fell in love.
Your trademark.
I tell you that this is where God kissed you
before He placed you in my womb.
It's just a story, I know,
but it makes me happy to think about 
Him knitting you together so perfectly.

As the nurse brought you towards me,
you looked right into my eyes.
Your steel blue-gray eyes seemed to bore into
mine and it felt like you were looking right into my soul.
It was an instant connection.
I felt like I was staring at an extension of myself.
It really was love at first sight.
As I am writing I can picture that moment in time so vividly.
I hope I never forget that first time we met.

We spent longer than normal
in the hospital while your tiny body
was working hard on getting rid of 
your extra billiruben.
That time was so difficult.
All I wanted to do was take you home
and cuddle you.
I remember trying to be so strong,
and finally one day as your dad and I walked to the
nursery to watch you sleep under the lights I broke down and cried.
And then I immediately felt so silly for crying
knowing that all over the world
tiny babies are fighting for their lives,
while you were really just sleeping under warm lights.

As you grew,
so did we.
We have been stretched beyond imagine
in our roles as parents and also as people.
 I have a whole new understanding and perspective on
almost everything.
From relating to the Mother of Jesus and how she must have felt
that very first Christmas
to the importance of sleep and how little of it you actually need. 

You have shaped us as people.
You encourage us to laugh when we don't know what else to do.
You sing at the top of your lungs when sometimes,
it feels like the wrong way to respond.
Yet, it is a simple reminder to belt out praises
(because you almost are always singing hymns or Sunday School songs)
no matter our circumstances.

Through the last four years some things
about you haven't changed one bit:

- Your volume levels are still not calibrated, in fact I am almost convinced
you have only two levels. Loud and louder. 
-Your smile is always the brightest thing in a room
- Your laugh in infectious
-Your are our spirited wild child who challenges societal norms.
- You love to dance, sing and perform.
For your own pleasure and also to make others' smile.
- Your personality will always be bigger than your body
- You are attractive, in so many ways, and people are drawn to you.
- You are a natural leader
- You are incredibly bright

Now, at 4 years old I am seeing a side to you
that shows you are getting older indeed.

- You are quick to apologize and see your mistakes
- You challenge me to see things differently. Asking me to show grace to someone,
or reminding me that Jane is just a baby when I am fed up with her crying.
- You have such a compassionate and sensitive heart. You are inclusive.
- You are incredibly affectionate. This side has really come out this last year.
You love to cuddle and never hesitate to show and express your love.
- You have grown in confidence. In a group of people you will walk up and introduce yourself
and become acquainted with others. You have become so skilled at the playground, knowing
your limitations and yet never hesitating to try something new. I have seen your confidence grow
just in the last 6 months with riding Socks the horse. 
- You have really come into your role as a big sister. So helpful to myself and Daddy.
Patient and playful with Jane.
- You know your ABC's, know your left from your right
 and can pretty much count to 20 unassisted.
Your memory is quite incredible. You memorize books,
lyrics to songs and Bible verses with such ease.
You can recall events or places in the past 
that surprise us! 

Claire, you are such a beautiful girl inside and out.
I love how you never hesitate to tell people about Jesus.
You are still so spunky and yet incredibly sweet.
You made me a mommy 4 years ago,
and that is an incredible gift you gave me.
I pray you continue to grow 
the way you are.
With grace, confidence and secure 
in the love of Jesus and your parents. 

Happy 4th Birthday Claire Bear!
We love you so much and are so proud of you.
Love Dad, Mom and Jane.

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