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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Determined Sunshine

Dear Darlings,

16 years ago I was 37 weeks pregnant with our third baby. Lucas had just turned two. Zach was not quite five. I was exhausted beyond measure from taking care of two very active boys, and to top it all off, I looked like I swallowed a watermelon. I waddled when I walked and strained to bend over. I couldn't sleep because the baby kept shoving itself this way and that way, poking me, prodding me and causing me to continuously shift to move it from wherever it was lodged. I say, "it" only because 16 years ago we had no idea if the baby within was a boy or girl. We had no idea what to expect, we only knew our third baby was healthy. I didn't want to know. I wanted to be surprised when it was born. And I was.


22 days from today I delivered a healthy, hefty baby girl into her father's arms. And there was love. Instant, complete, enduring love. Claire Denise came screaming into this world.

Roaring, actually.

I thought third babies were supposed to go with the flow. I thought third babies were supposed to be easy. She was not.

Last week she, the baby who came roaring into this world, asked me to write a paragraph describing her personality for an AP Psychology project she has to complete by next week.  I gave you the background, and I now I give you the paragraph she will submit to her teacher.

From the very second Claire realized she could make noise and make demands, she did. She roared her way into our family, as the youngest of three. She was determined to make herself heard in a world of two older, and very loud brothers. Our entire family was loud, but she was louder. Fierce determination spread through her countenance day-by-day. She strove to keep up with those older brothers of hers and when she couldn't there was hell to pay. The roaring got louder. And then one day, the universe shifted, and Claire's greatest desire came to be. She left crawling behind, She learned to walk and then run. And she could keep up with her brothers. Her face lit up. She was beaming sunshine. Those two traits define who she is. Determination and sunshine. Claire Denise, the little girl who roared into this world has taken those two (very awesome) pieces of her personality and combined them to become determined sunshine for all who are lucky enough to meet her.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Never hide your crazy

To my sweet baby girl,

The air stirred and swirled with electric currents as you came flying into the house. You were on fire. Angry flames danced around you as you began telling me the story of the transexual homecoming princess and the girls on the bus who wouldn't stop talking about her. They were gossipy and mean-spirited, you said. Their words didn't sit well with you, so you told them to knock it off. Curiosity and asking questions, when you don't understand someone else, is one thing, you said, talking about someone behind their back is another. Not caring that the person who was being talked about wasn't there to defend themselves, and knowing the comments spoken were never going to be said in front of the transexual homecoming princess, was your undoing. So your words reverberated through the bus, as I can only imagine your words doing. Your voice isn't quiet, or mellow. Your voice booms, in the best way possible.

We talked some more and as you turned to leave, lyrics began playing through my head. Miranda Lambert's raspy vocals started swirling from her song Mama's Broken Heart...

"Get a grip and bite your lip, just to save a little face. Cross your legs. Dot your i's and never let 'em see you cry."

"Powder your nose. Paint your toes. Line your lips and keep them closed."

"Run and hide your crazy and start acting like a lady. Cause I raised you better gotta keep it together even when you fall apart..."

I'm so glad none of this applies to you. I did raise you to be a lady, but not like this. I know you won't ever bite your lip just to save a little face, nor will you line your lips and keep them closed. But most of all I hope you never hide your crazy. The kind of lady I want you to be has you doing exactly what you did. Your kind of lady has you keeping it together, even when others let things fall apart. So go on and flaunt your your best way possible!