It's just not possible. It's not possible that it's been seven years since Aunt Betty (Mama's older sister) drove from Austin on the 4th of July to stay with Emmeline. It's not possible that seven years ago, I checked into the hospital for labor induction on the 5th of July. It's not possible that my tiny little baby girl is now the curly-haired seven-year old who's sitting beside me looking at her baby pictures as I type.
|4-D ultrasound: first glimpse of our baby girl|
|Big Sister met Clare for the first time.|
|Aunt Betty with Clare|
|The world's best OB/GYN holding Clare|
It's not possible that I got through a delivery without Mama being in the waiting room, waiting to hold a new grandchild. It's not possible that Aunt Betty, Nancy, and Leslie all stepped in, not to take Mama's place, but to help lessen the void left which I felt especially after having Mama there for Emmeline's birth two and a half years before.
But it is possible, because with God all things are possible. This teacher who could handle the kids others could not, who was quick to judge parents and other teachers, learned that personalities aren't created; children are born with them. I learned any talents I had were entirely gifts from God and I learned to call on Him. I learned that my children have all taken on the personalities of their patron saints. And I learned that saints, especially St. Clare and St. Jeanne d' Arc, weren't all halos and holy poses; you don't accomplish big things for God without a little determination and stubbornness. Those kind of personalities are fun and the stuff of life if you learn to embrace them and hold on tight. I learned how to balance outings and doctors appointments with a father, deep in dementia and Parkinson's who would get lost, whilst carrying a baby carrier in one hand and the hand of a toddler with the other. I learned that God would give me a little glimpse of Mama every time I looked at Clare.
I learned love multiplies and a mother's heart expands to hold it.
|Ready for the car-ride home from the hospital.|
|Straight hair; no sign of curls to come|
|Signs of curls to come & mischievous look which still tickles this Mama|
|Sweetest, most tender-hearted, especially with her little brother|
Happy Birthday to our Clare Jeanne d'Arc. I am so glad God created you and sent you to us. I can't imagine life without you. It would be very boring, indeed!
|Our sweet little firecracker, almost born on the 4th of July:)|
|I wasn't feeling up to a large party, so we had cake with family friends at our neighborhood pool. We'll make it up next year:) I found this in Clare's room.|
|She wanted a homemade strawberry cake.|