"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

21 December 2014

living, loving, laughing

  Is it really possible that our youngest, our "baby", the ballerina...that graceful, taller than her older sister, wicked-smart, compassionate, full-of-life-love- and laughter- girl is really 16 years old today as of 4:22 a.m.??

I remember Sunday 20 December, 1998 so well.  Courtney had kindergarten the next day and her Christmas party dress needed a button sewn on. Something told me to get it done that day, rather than waiting until the night before the last day of school before the holiday break.  I was a stay-at-home mom at that time and teaching piano part time. I remember turning down a special education pre-k job the previous winter when I found out I was pregnant with our 2nd child.  We had "given up" and weren't really trying anymore after 2 years of nothing happening. Dave had been working in Italy all that previous winter/early spring and was home on a break when I got pregnant. I remember telling Courtney she was going to be a big sister and preparing her for what that would mean.  When we found out we were having another little girl, we were thrilled and Courtney started praying every night to God that "my baby sister would be under the Christmas tree".  I had to tell her that babies come when God decides they are ready...and that my due date was not until December 28th so having Claire Rebekah under the tree in time for Christmas was probably not going to happen.

Well, God does indeed hear the prayers of little children and I went into labor as soon as my water broke around 11 pm the night of December 20th.  

We barely made it to the hospital in time.  A little less than 4 hours later, our ballerina danced her way into the world and hasn't stopped dancing since.
On Pointe at age 13

age 8 months
Labor Day weekend 1999
Camping near Tanglewood Jazz Festival, MA
At 10 weeks old, she had to have major surgery (one ovary and fallopian tube had to come out due to a torqued cyst).  That was a difficult time but she came through it just fine.  Our faith was definitely tested at that time of her young life.

I always wondered how my heart would have enough room to love another child.  And yet....it does....that magical, miraculous, marvelous gift of childbirth (and thankfully I could have my babies in the "all natural" "no drugs" method) brings such a fierce love.  There is always enough.  And like 2nd children often are, she was definitely different in temperament and personality than her big sis.  She was difficult in some ways because she was always on the go...yet not hyperactive.  Her primary love languages are/were physical touch and acts of service.  They seem to still be the way she feels ;most loved, even today.

It's because of Claire that I learned to be patient.....yes, I was always patient with my special education class but there's something about having your own  children...they are so quick to "push our buttons" and boy, our feisty Claire knew how to do this well!  
But...she also brought much laughter and joy to our home.  Courtney, her big sis, was an easy baby and toddler.  She was our only child for 5 years and a little princess.  Claire was more of the tomboy, always moving around the house and yard, taking risks, stamping those little feet when angry or frustrated, kicking soccer balls and racing up trails.  She did calm down after about age 7 and is probably the most graceful  teenager I have ever seen.

I cannot imagine our lives without her!  She and her big sis have such a close relationship...they are truly friends as well as sisters.  

Claire, age 2 with big sis Courtney age 7
I praise God that I get to be Claire's mom.  I'm looking forward to what the next couple of years will bring!

Some fave photos of Claire:

age 3 at the beach house on Buzzards Bay/Cape Cod

dancing with daddy, age 7

Ballet Show June 2008, age 9

leaping at Buzzards Bay
loving life!
July 2010

Claire with one of her best friends, Suzanna
Homecoming 2013

Birthday Fun!
Courtney, Faith, Claire


Simply Linda said...

Happy Happy Birthday! Wishes for many more!!!! Blessings & Merry Christmas.

Deb said...

What a lovely tribute to your lovely daughter. Merry Christmas to you all!

Melanie said...

Happy Birthday to Claire! What a lovely post about a lovely young lady. I too remember when I was expecting my second child, wondering how I could have enough love for this second one. But it happens. Have a blessed Christmas week.

Joyful said...

Momma's sweet memories. So thankful God gives us those. It's wonderful to look back on their lives! Happy Birthday to your sweet girl!

Dianna said...

Popping in to say Happy Birthday to Claire! Precious post, Faith!

Susanne said...

Happy belated birthday! What a special post for your girl.

Melanie said...

I wanted to wish you a very blessed
Christmas to you and your family!