Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Note to Claire

Dear Claire,

I know you won't be able to read this for many years, but I want to tell you how proud I am of you. The last couple days have been all about your sister, with her party on Sunday and her birthday yesterday, and you have been SO good.

You made it through the entire party on Sunday with a smile on your face, in spite of the fact that you didn't have a nap. We went out for dinner with Uncle Doug, Aunt Kathy, and cousin Jill, and you were cheerful and charming and so very, very well-behaved.

When Mary Grace opened her presents, you didn't try to take them away to play with them. You sat and watched her like a big girl. Your little two-and-a-half-year-old heart honestly seemed happy for her. I've seen younger siblings much, much older than you who didn't do half as well at their older siblings' birthday parties.

You were happy to play with the kids and the balloons, to hang out with Uncle Chuck, to play second fiddle. You were so good it broke my heart a little. Does it mean that you're just so used to not being the center of attention that it comes naturally? I hope that's not true. I hope it's just a manifestation of your daddy's gentle heart and kind soul, which you have obviously inherited from him.

Daddy and I decided last night that we'd get you a special gift, to open when MG opened her gift from us, to say "Atta girl!" for all your excellent behavior. He got you a little tool set like Handy Manny's. And you love it.

And the first thing MG did was try to take it from you, even though she got her Alexa and Liana Barbies at the same moment that you opened your tools.

This morning, I let you see one of MG's Barbies (when she wasn't playing with it) and your sister spazzed. She and I just had a long talk, about how good you've been these last couple of days, and how you deserve a chance to check out her new dolls - particularly when MG wants to check out your tools! And while I was in the living room talking to her, you came in and gave her back the Barbie.

You break my heart, you're so gentle and good. You hate to see your sister cry, and so you'll do whatever is in your little power to make her happy - even though I know sometimes it hurts you.

I promise, my sweet girl, that I will do everything I can to protect your gentle heart. I promise that I will always make sure that I reward your good behavior - whether it's with toys (like yesterday) or with extra hugs and kisses and praise (like every day).

And you can bet your favorite stuffed kitty that when it's your birthday, if Mary Grace's behavior isn't every bit as good as yours was over the last two days, she is going to be in deep trouble.

I am so proud of you, today and always.



RobMonroe said...

Go Claire! My cousins always got presents for the other child's birthday AT the party. That always weirded me out, even when I was little.

angel0199 said...

That is pretty much the dynamic of my oldest 2. Sammi is the oldest and she seems to feel entitled. Isaiah is 20 months younger and is always thinking of her. He will come home from a birthday party and give his sisters the goodie bag prizes. I use to think Sammi was selfish, but after many talks and observing other behaviors I don't think that is the case. I really think it is some sort of birth order thing. Maybe I should read one of those birth order books. Anyone have any recommendations?

Jen said...

Must be something about 2nd kids...

Adelas said...

That gave me the sniffles. What a darling! Sighhh....