To Clara on her birthday

To my two-year old.

I don’t often publish the notes I write to you on the internet (because you can’t read, nor are you allowed to play with my computer), but I figured this is your birthday and it’s my job to embarrass you a little. And to overshare. And to love on you publicly. Because I am your mother and I take these duties (among others) very seriously.
I want you to know that this day isn’t all about you. I mean, I’ll let you have too much sugar and we’ve blown up balloons to celebrate and of course I will tell you this day is all about you, but this day is about me and your dad, too. Two years ago you came into this world and made us parents and the rest has been a blur. You (along with your sister, recently) have made these past two years the most challenging and rewarding of our lives.

I will always remember your actual birth day as one of the very best days of my life. And the most painful. And the scariest. Which makes you just being here so, so special to me.

Clara's Second Birthday

You can already do so many things. You can climb equipment at the park that even four year olds won’t attempt (or so their parents tell me). You are potty trained. You are in a ‘big girl bed’. You can count to 10 and jump and somersault and you love hanging from everything and bringing your toes to the bar, just like they taught you in gym class. You are fearless and confident. There are a great many more things I could list, but I won’t, because I honestly don’t care very much about your accomplishments and milestones, although of course I am immensely proud of you and excited for you that you are so proud of yourself.

No, what I am most proud of is your love and your heart and who you are. It has always, from the moment I found out I was pregnant with you on October 24, 2013, been my goal to ensure you know that you are loved by your parents, friends, family members and God, so that you can pour love into others. And you, my sweet girl, love BIG. You love your mommy and daddy, of course, but you also show so much love and affection for your sister, and even Ozzie.

From the time you were a very small baby, there has been a joy about you. You were never a fussy baby. You smiled at me at a few weeks old and you haven’t stopped smiling at me since. Some babies are more serious in nature, but not you. You have always thought everything was funny and you continue to give smiles and laughter easily. It’s actually been hard to discipline you because almost nothing upsets you. You love life and you love people and you love animals and you don’t stay sad or mad for longer than a few moments. The way you view life is an inspiration to me.

You are already so smart and determined and generous and I know all of this will serve you well one day. I pray that you use these traits to make a positive difference in the world. I know you will. You are sweet and kind and love taking care of all of your dolls. You were born a nurturer (albeit a little bit of a rough one). Right now I’m watching you put an ice pack in Isabelle’s baby swing and you very lovingly said “goodnight” and covered it with a blanket. Although now you’re shaking the swing so I’m just glad it isn’t Isabelle in there. But I digress.

Clara, I hope you know how much your daddy and I love you and how proud we will always be of you. God has given you some awesome gifts and I take my duty of ensuring those gifts get used very seriously. I don’t ever need you to be the best at everything or anything, but I hope you continue to grow as a person of noble character who keeps shining light wherever you go.

I can’t wait to see what this next year brings. I look forward to continue seeing your infectious smile every day and to continue to get to know who you are.

I love you so much,

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