Oh my sweet little man. It's only been a few short weeks, but we cannot imagine life without you.
In the blink of an eye you made your way into this world and our hearts and completed our little family.
A few short months ago I was terrified on how I would be able to effectively manage 2 small children. The unknown was terrifying. Now as I look back over the past 2 months I realize I am doing it. I am raising and taking care of 2 children for the most part of the day by myself. Some days are not always easy. Some days all 3 of us are in tears all at once, but every night when we go to bed I thank God for my 2 sweet babies. I know it is by His grace that I am able to make it through each day and wake up each morning renewed and refreshed and ready to take on whatever the day may bring. I do not dwell on the troubles of yesterday or stress about the struggles that may lay before me (most of the time). I have found myself on my knees in prayer more times a day than ever before, not only asking for strength and understanding, but also in thank fullness. God shows me his presence in the little moments of the day. When both my babies are in my lap and they smile at each other. Or when Luke is crying and Claire instinctively tries to give him is paci, a kiss, and bounce/or rock him when he is in his seat. In these moments my heart swells so big I think it might burst and tears of joy run down my face. Claire often looks at me and says "cry, bo bo"? I try to explain to my sweet, sensitive girl that these tears are because Mommy is happy.
My sweet Claire Bear. You are Mommy's girl. You are the little girl that made me a Mommy. You are my side kick. For the last 2.5 years you have gone with me wherever I have been every step of the way. I wouldn't change a minute. It is such a joy to have you with me. I love to have your sweet face by my side. Somehow I am braver when you are with me. We are so much a like when we are in public. We are quieter and more reserved. At home both of us are loud and goofy. When people get to know us they are often shocked that we are not the quiet person that first thought we were. I love that you are a "girly girl" like me. You love dressing up, doing makeup and beg me constantly to paint your toes. It is a crime in your eyes if your toenails are not painted. You enjoy shopping and shoe shopping is your favorite. All I have to do is walk by the shoe section and you are ripping off your shoes begging me to try some on. I know sometimes we don't see eye to eye. Your inquisitive 2 year old brain doesn't always think things through. I promise when I tell you "no" it isn't to be mean. I tell you "no" because I love you. I love that you are my daughter. I pray that you and I have the close relationship me and your Nana have, best friends. I pray you always keep your silliness (you take after your Nana on that one). I pray you always keep your sensitive spirit. You are so intuitive when it comes to others feelings. You seem to know when they are upset and often have a hug and a kiss to offer or find a way to make them laugh. You are like me and wear your feelings on your sleeve. Daddy doesn't always understand us girls and thinks the littlest things upset us. I think we really just want to make others happy. I know when you get upset when you get into trouble most of the time you are more upset you made Mommy or Daddy (especially Daddy) mad. You are a Daddy's girl. When he is home you are glued to him. You somehow inherited his gift of sarcasm. You shock me and make me laugh more times a day with your quick wit. Your favorite part of the day is greeting Daddy when he gets home from work. All you have to do is bat those beautiful blue eyes (you got your Mimi's eyes) and Daddy melts in your hand. You have somehow known that from birth. One look and Daddy is all yours.
Mommy's little man or "handsome fart" as I often call you. (I am sure you are just going to love that nickname later). I know you haven't had the easiest first few weeks. Your little tummy has been so uncomfortable. Thankfully it does seem to be getting better. I can see in your eyes you are a sweet gentle boy. You are so inquisitive. You take in the entire room with such a serious look at times. Then there are those moments especially in the morning and at bath time your silliness comes out. You smile and "talk" to me. Sometimes I even get a little laugh out of you. You kick your legs and the more I encourage you to kick the more you do. Your smiles are the best and sometimes I can't help but cry tears of happiness when I look in your smiling face.
I can't get enough of you. I get accused of wanting to hold you too much. I was the same way with your sister. I would rather spend all day holding and playing with my babies than doing anything else. Time is already passing so quickly. I know you are my last baby and that is hard for me to accept you growing up. I am so excited to see more of your personality emerge, but I am also sad that you won't be a baby forever. You smell so sweet. When you nuzzle your little head in my neck at your 4:00 a.m. feeding I always rock you a few extra minutes just to take it all in.
I am so glad God gave me a son. I pray that you grow up to be a Godly man. You have been blessed with a Godly Daddy and I know he will lead you by example. I am excited to see you grow up and do "boy stuff". Whether that is playing sports, playing in the dirt or whatever you are interested in. I know you will constantly keep me on my toes.
I am so blessed to have the two of you as my children. I pray you both grow to become the best of friends. I tell you both every day how lucky you are to have each other. I love the love I see in both of your eyes when you look at each other. I am excited to see you laugh and play together. I know you will fight, but at the end of each day remember how lucky you are to have a brother/sister. Claire is so protective of you Luke and so proud telling everyone you are "oope" (Luke without the "L" and a p for the "k"). From the moment she met you no one was getting between the two of you. Luke, when you look at Claire you are always happy to see her. If you are fussy and she sits next to you you will usually start to settle. I can't wait to see the bond continue to form and grow between the two of you. Both of you are all I ever wanted and I thank God daily for my two greatest blessings.
Pictures by Melissa Pickens Photography.