I've known this day was coming.
The nearer it got, the more I wished it away and wished time to stand still.
My baby isn't a baby anymore.
Today - my ClaireBear is 3.
Here's the thing, though. To me, she will always be my baby. I get it now when my mom remarks to people that I'm her baby. I silently cringe. Being the "baby" of the family wasn't always great. (I still don't get to ride shot-gun.) But to my mom, I will always be her baby. And to me, Claire will always be mine.
She was our "happy accident" - and in these past three years she has given us so much happiness. She brings out the best in all of us.
Daddy crumbles with her smile.
Mommy speaks more gently when "The Bear" is around.
Ella has become a big sister - learning to care for her baby sister.
Abbigail is her protector, and is so quick to defend.
Yes, I know, after 3 is 4... then 5. Somehow I'll come to terms my baby isn't a baby anymore. She'll learn to ride a bike, start school, complain about homework, beg to wear makeup, have her first kiss, her heart will get broken, and her heart will know love. For now - I hold onto all the wonderful little things that make my "Bear" so wonderful...
When mommy gets mad you ask, "You mad?" I'll say no - and you ask again, "You happy?"
Claire - I'm always happy when you are around.
At bedtime it's always the same routine:
"No Claire, there are no spiders."
"No Bear, there are no strangers."
You still fall asleep in my arms.
I love it when you fight for what you want! (Like I said, being the baby isn't always easy.)
Your hair is fabulous!
When you're hurt, sad or just tired... you want me.
You know all the words to "I Am a Child of God" and you sing it loud!
You think you can do a cartwheel.
I'll never forget this 4th of July. When I got home from work, and you were too afraid of the fireworks - you walked in the house and yelled, "They go BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM" and your two little hands showed just how big those "booms" were.
You aren't afraid to try new things. You are brave.
You may be the baby, but you do a darn good job protecting your sisters, and quickly join their ranks when there is freedom (from chores) to be fought for.
The other day you pooped in Kay's front yard. Yes, she has surveillance cameras.
Your imagination is big and wild. You can sit for hours and entertain yourself - and the rest of us.
You love me, unconditionally. I need that.
You adore your daddy. He deserves that.
You cherish every moment with your sisters. Don't ever stop that.
You love the Savior. He loves you. And in your eyes I see Him. You'll learn to hold on to that.