A Letter to My Sweet Clara on her First Birthday

I honestly am shocked that you are already a year old. I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. I went to work like any other woman would do on the “due date” of her child and treated my first patient at 7 am. I knew when I woke up that morning that you were going to be one of the few children born on their actual due date, but of course I drove myself to work and acted like it wasn’t happening. I left my job shortly after arriving, called your father and said it was time to meet me at the hospital. 😊

We did not know if you were a boy or a girl, but for 9 months you listened to your mother say “I am really hoping for another boy. I don’t know what to do with girls”. We anxiously awaited your arrival, and when I heard the words “It’s a girl” a flood of emotions washed over me (and I think it's safe to say your father also). In my head I was such a “boy mom”. I enjoy sports, I am lucky to wash my hair 3 times a week let alone do my hair, I despise shopping, the last time I painted my nails was for a wedding I was in which took place in June, you are starting to get the point right? How in the world was I going to raise a girl?

Since the moment you were born, you have taught me things I never thought possible and you do it in the most unimaginable ways.

Lesson number 1: There was room in my heart to love another human being as much as I love your wonderful brother. The instant I held you in my arms, I knew I was meant to be your mother. You may have drawn the short straw in this deal, but I feel like I won the lottery. I feel like now is the time to apologize for wishing you were a boy for 9 months.

Lesson number 2: Karma is a B*t#$. There is no doubt in my mind you met mom before you met us. To put it nicely, I was the child from hell. I had colic, I was crabby, and I ONLY wanted my mom. No really, for 3 years or so (I may be shortening the timespan to save face a little) I would not go to ANYONE but my mother. Babysitters just let me fall asleep by the front door because I was waiting for mom to come home. I wanted nothing to do with my dad until I could play sports, so he got a few years off. I know that mom has been plotting her revenge since the day I was born, but she knows how patient I am so she could not give me a child like myself. What she did give me was a healthy dose of a girl who wants her momma ALL the TIME (unless she is with her sweet, loving adopted family Nonni and Joel- we will get to them later). Here is picture evidence that the apple does not fall far from the tree.

Lesson number 3: Girls can be easy (at least in the first year of life). Wyatt was a dream baby, but you may have been easier…as I am typing this I feel as though I am jixing myself (and have actually hit the backspace a few times in an effort to delete it but I think you should know how good you were as a baby). You slept like a charm since the day you were born (insert dancing emoji because the “winkler sleep gene” run strong in this family!) While you were in the hospital you may not know it but you had your first modeling gig. The nurse came in and asked us if we minded if you were a model in a photo shoot for their program. You didn’t wake up once and acted like it was no big deal to be in front of the camera. Meanwhile other rooms had screaming babies, and stressed out parents but here we were just relaxing, and watching you charm the camera man- show off.

Lesson number 4: Society really, REALLY pushes the bows on girls. You have been called a boy more times than I can count because I just didn’t see the need to put a bow on your head every time we went into public. You were always dressed in girl clothes, but that is apparently not enough. Sorry bout that. Here is picture evidence that I tried, and you may feel as strongly about head gear as I do. We will work on this.

Lesson number 5: You are a prime example of something that I really struggle with. We are given what we need, not what we think we need. Read that again because I think that will be a huge life lesson for you. Everything from your gender, due date, and personality is exactly what I needed, but I didn’t know it. Turns out I REALLY enjoy being a girl mom (yes, I am finally admitting it) but your happy go lucky yet sassy attitude is what makes it fun. You are a woman on a mission and you like to let everyone know what you want (not

sure who you get that from), but you are such a free spirit and so carefree at the same time (just like your dad). Just yesterday you had us rolling laughing and I looked at your dad and said “She is top 5 one of the funniest people I have ever met and she doesn’t even talk yet”. You bring a smile to everyone you meet- I hope that stays with you. The world needs more happy people like you. You at the young age of 1 have the ability to light up a room with your smile and laughter- use that and keep that part of you alive. Lesson number 6: You taught me the importance of a positive mind set and the importance of self image because let’s be honest- little eyes are always watching. There is something about being a “girl mom” that made me wake up and pay attention to how I carry myself. Wyatt is ALWAYS watching and imitating dad, and it hit me that you would soon be paying attention to what I do. I hope to instill a sense of confidence in you that is unmatched, because I can feel that you are going to change the world girlfriend. As I close out this letter, I feel that you should know a few key people who helped you have an amazing first year of life. We should both thank them later because they are key players to you being a healthy, happy baby. Let’s start with your father. You had him wrapped around your finger instantly. You have some of your father’s lovely qualities- fun loving, hilarious, free spirit, ENDLESS ENERGY just to name a few. It is actually fun to watch him watch you in action, because I can see his wheels

spinning and I know he is thinking, “dang she has a lot of energy, this must be what my parents meant when they said I was active”. Again, Karma is a b*t$^… remember that. For those of you who know Jeremy, he may not strike you as an active person, but he was put on a leash as a child because he was a “runner” with the nickname “jumpin Jeremy”. Nana really enjoys the fact that you are so wild 😊

We will move on to your brother. He absolutely ADORES you, and when we bring you places he says “Hey everyone, look at MY baby”. When you cry he rushes around the house to find something to make you feel better. When you are happy he says “mom, we have a happy baby”. Just this past week, you two have really started to play together which means you steal toys from him and he steals them back all while taddling on you. He also drags you around the floor by your leg and tackles you, which oddly enough, you seem to enjoy. Your grandparents were there the day you were born, ready to add you to the list of their grandchildren that they are over the moon proud of. Thank God for them Clara, because you had no girl clothes waiting for you at home. I really thought you were a boy. Your Nana and grandpa have single handedly bought ¾ of your wardrobe, and your pawpaw the other ¼. Pawpaw held you within your first week of life (this is huge

Clara- it took him 8 weeks to hold Wyatt) and he called and checked in on you almost everyday the first week of your life (again huge, no one hears from this man). I think he was somewhat worried about what I would do with a girl. Your nana and grandpa traveled from Evansville as soon as they got word you were on your way. You LOVE your weekend visits to their house, and the extra snuggles nana gives when she visits. These 3 people love you more than you will ever know and you have made their life better.

You are surrounded by aunts and uncles that love you very much! You aunt Kate (your godmother) has watched you many times so dad and I could go out and enjoy ourselves. I think you are built like aunt Kate- tall slender and petite at the same time! Aunt Kate and Uncle John love to spoil and snuggle you! Uncle Dave and your sweet cousin Cecilia love that there is another girl in the fam and they are always there to make sure you are happy as a lark. I can hear Cecilia now “Can I hold baby cwara”. Aunt Amy, uncle Eric (your godfather) and Gabe would do anything for you if you woul

She makes sure I have prepared you for holidays, taken your monthly pictures, prepared your photo sessions, parties etc. You and her have had some good times together and I think you are destined to be best buds. 😊 You are still warming up to uncle Eric and Gabe, but they really can’t wait until you do. I know it is only a matter of time. Haha

We will end with Connie (Nonni) and Joel who stepped in to take care of you while your dad and I pursue our careers. I am still not sure what they are bribing you with, but they are the only 2 people who you like to be with instead of me 😊 . It is such a hard thing to leave your children to go to work, but watching you with them makes it easy and warms my heart knowing you enjoy your time with them. You have a BLAST over there and I am forever grateful for the time you get to spend with them. You don’t know how luck you are to have them. Clara you have blessed our family in ways you will never know. Keep us laughing!

Love you! Mom

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