Thursday, December 13, 2007

Not Exactly About Christmas

Claire's third birthday was yesterday. True to form, she spent the day surprising me. She started her little life by shocking me at an Easter egg hunt. Jacob and I were sitting on a bench when I realized that I felt awful. And then I realized why I felt awful. I ran home to take a pregnancy test. After a year of heartbreaking negatives (and enough drama and tears for years of heartbreak), I had finally gotten pregnant during the month that we stepped off the conception carousel for the sake of my sanity.

Many months later, I was sitting on the living room floor feeling awful. Then I realized why I felt awful. Nick and I took our time leaving because I'd had a long, grueling labor with Jacob. Thirty minutes later, we were flying down the highway while I was desperately trying NOT to have a baby. Claire's head crowned in the delivery room before the very nice security guard managed to move our double-parked car away from the emergency entrance. We were sure that we'd be greeting Samuel when the doctor put my beautiful baby girl on my stomach. Nick and I laughed and laughed. "We have a daughter! Already! We just got here and we have a daughter!"

She surprised us by being an easy baby. Then she surprised us by being a remarkably challenging toddler. Every time I make any assumption about Claire at all, she turns my expectations upside down and inside out. She is never who I expect her to be, but she is always wonderful.

When I walked into her room at daycare yesterday, she was wearing a turquoise flower girl dress. We donated the dress to the preschool some years ago. It had originally belonged to my niece, who wore it to her mother's wedding. I had completely forgotten about the dress. It was surreal to see my no-longer-a-baby-girl wearing that dress that belonged to a girl who now drives and has a boyfriend. Claire's growing up behind my back while I've got my eyes on her all the time. It's a surprising trick.


Kelley said...

Aww, happy birthday Claire (and momma).

Katie said...

Beautiful, Christy! You're such a great writer. Make sure you save this somewhere that Claire will be able to read it when she's older.

Jen said...

Happy Birthday Claire!

Mary Witzl said...

This is lovely, Christy. Happy Birthday to Claire.

My two girls continue to surprise me too. Every day they look just the same as they did the night before, and yet they are imperceptibly different. And in no time, they are all grown up.

No longer can I hear the song 'Sunrise, Sunset' without going all teary.