I want to sing Happy Birthday to you.
But a different song comes to mind.....
You are my Sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When skies are grey
You'll never know dear
How much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away.
Today you are an even dozen.
I've said it like a million times...but it seems like only a blink ago that you arrived in this world.
And you turned the world as I knew it upside down.
But you were used to doing that even before you were born.
You were due to arrive on the 19th of October.
Thanks to the track record set by your older siblings being such big babies (term used in the literal sense), when they were born, we got to schedule your birth date for the 11th of October.
But YOU had other plans.
You decided you had enough of the life-in-utero and made it known on October 6th that you were coming...ready or not.
I got to the hospital and labored in the way that I had hoped to avoid thanks to drugs and and epidural that could stand up to a c-section.
The doctors asked me if I would like to let nature take it's course since you were so much earlier than expected.
Besides the fact that this was not a part of my "birth plan" with you and I was not mentally prepared for nature to take it's course...something told me that you were a big girl. To go ahead with the surgery. Hand over the epidural, please.
Within minutes of that decision....on October 7....all 9 pounds and 8 ounces of you came into my world.
And captured my heart.
Ever since you were born I would sing the Sunshine song to you before I laid you down to sleep.
And I love it that you still want me to do this.
As the 3rd child, sometimes I couldn't always rock you to sleep....you had to learn how to fall asleep on your own.
And you did.
I've always felt a sort of mommy guilt over this. But it was what it was and you were fine with it.
And you have sort of grown up to be this brave girl who isn't afraid to travel her own path, even if it is not the same as your older brother and sister.
I can't hardly type out this birthday letter to you anymore without getting all emotional.....
But here it goes:
My dear, sweet Claire
I'm sorry if sometimes
Things don't feel fair.
But you are special
You were meant to find your way
It may be different from others
But God's best for you, I pray.
You have changed my world
Challenged things I thought to be true
Made me grow as a mama
And made me better too.
This world is better
Because you are in it
I know God has big plans for you
From way before you were knit.
And whatever path
He leads you down
I feel blessed and honored
That I get to be around.
From molding and guiding
and helping you out
To stepping back and watching
You find your way about.
My instincts were right
On who you were born to be
My big girl with a big heart
Not one who knows you could disagree.
As we venture in
To these next handful of years
And go through everything
From laughter to tears.
Please don't ever
There are two things on which
You can place every bet.
You've got God on your side
Ready to help you decide the way
And your mama who believes in you
Here's to the girl
who started me singing "You are My Sunshine"
I thank God in heaven
For letting me call you
Happy Birthday, Claire