When people describe you, the word "expressive" is used most often. You are THE most expressive little girl I've ever met. When you're excited, it shows all over your face. When you're upset, everyone knows. As much as I hate to perpetuate the "girls are more dramatic" stereotype, there's no denying it with you.
One of my favorite things to do with you is sing. We sing hymns together every night. Your brothers would always sing along, but you SING LOUD! You won't sing in front of other people, but when it's just the two of us, you don't hold back.
You're talking now. Like, for real talking. Not just words or phrases. Full sentences and paragraphs. It happened at some point this winter, and seemingly overnight. This has increased your ability to have fun with your brothers. Sometimes in the car, you'll just look at Ben, laugh and say, "Be funny, Ben!" You love all of the faces and noises that he makes just to make you laugh.
When I ask you your name, you usually respond, "Sara Luke" or "Kyle Luke." And then you laugh your head off like you've just made the most hilarious joke ever. I'll give you a look and you'll say, "I called me Sara!" or "Your name is not Mama! It's Claire Bear!" You sure have perfected the art of 2-year0-old silliness.
You have developed a HUGE fear of bugs. Something happened last weekend that set you off, and now I have trouble getting you out the door. We searched your body for a sting, but didn't see anything. I don't know if a bug landed on you or if you just saw something that concerned you, but now, if you see so much as a gnat from 10 feet away, you're climbing up my body like a monkey up a tree and crying like you've been attacked by something much larger than you. In the bath last night, you started screaming and I panicked for a second. I looked over and you were huddled in a corner of the tub pointing and a piece of fuzz floating in the water that you thought was a bug. This fear could make for a VERY long summer.
To be honest, it reminds me of how you are around dogs. If you so much as see one (even on a leash) from a distance, you FREAK OUT. I hate to admit that this probably all comes directly from my gene pool, because I was the same way.
When you're freaking out about bugs and dogs, it's sometimes hard for me to be patient. I want to just say, "Stop it! You're fine!" But the truth is that you're not fine. You're scared. It's ok to be scared. While I can't rid your life of dogs and bugs forever, I can promise that I'll hold you when you're scared and help you to overcome your fears. I will take your fears seriously, no matter how trivial or irrational they may seem to outsiders.
You are both a joy and a challenge, Claire Bear. You still love cuddling with me and reading with me. Sometimes I just sit and watch you play or pretend, in awe of the fact that you are MY daughter. MINE. Words can't even describe how amazing I think you are, and how much I love you. Being your mom is a privilege and a blessing.