Dear Claire,

Please do me a favor and stop growing up so darn fast, will you?

I can hardly stand it!

As we looked through all your baby pictures on your birthday “eve” I couldn’t help but just miss that baby-you.  Your bright smily eyes.  Your huge underbite smile.  Your desire to suck on those sweet toes of yours.

But as much as I miss that baby Claire, I can hardly blame you for growing into YOU:  one of the sweetest, helping-est, sparkly-eyed girls I know.

One who gives me the very best hugs right when I really need them.

And writes the most conscientiously sweet and thoughtful notes.

(I’ve posted that one before but honestly, sometimes I just go read it again when I’m having a bad day.)

You take care of your little sister like a mother hen.

You have the unique ability to be mature enough to hang tight with Grace’s friends but find delight in making up imaginary games with Lucy’s friends too.

You are quick to help in the kitchen and I adore having you at my side.

I love how you dance…with your whole body coordinated with glee shining from your face.

I love your kind heart and how your eyes well up when you feel love and gratitude.

I loved overhearing you turn Saturday chores into a game with Lucy last weekend so that she would help you.

Since you claimed your tenth birthday was “the best day of your life,” let’s recap it here so we can remember:

(Grace is always the best party planner…so lucky to have her help make your day great!)

Yes, it’s still dark when we have breakfast at 6:45.

You are a very graciously enthusiastic gift-receiver.

…even when you open a heart rate monitor box and try every so politely to figure out what in the world your family could be giving you.

 (just a few things wrapped in the only box we could find.)

I got to come teach Art Masterpiece in your class on the big day and you were pretty delighted about that little fact.

…until I took a picture of you in front of your class and you about died of embarrassment.

(You’d think you’d be used to that by now.)

But the fact that your name was on the marquee and you got to bring doughnuts to your class made up for that speedy quick 🙂

For some reason you finagle your way to go to Texas Roadhouse for birthday dinners most years.

(We very rarely ever go out to eat as a family….and Elle always seems to be straight from tennis…)

We came home for your favorite grasshopper ice cream pie for dessert.

(Isn’t that the best picture of Max??  Did I mention he’s 6’6″ now?)

Oh boy how we love you Claire Bear.

Thanks for making us so darn happy around here.

Love you forever.

Love, Mom

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