To my little Clara Bean,
I know you can’t read this, not yet anyway. Well, you could if it was comprised of very short sentences made up of three and four letters words, but it’s not, sorry. Besides, you’re far too busy being you to sit down and read a bunch of words from me anyway. One day though, perhaps one day you will want to hear the thoughts of your mother when you were a little girl. All my hopes and dreams for you whilst life is still an endless journey ahead. You can have it all my darling, everything you want. As you are mine, the world is yours.
You see, I didn’t know how desperately I wanted you until I had you. Until the moment you were placed in my arms, all kicking and crying, bruised and alien-like, I had never known such a feeling of completion. And to this day I still find myself looking at you and feeling like my breath is being taken away momentarily by your presence. I look at you differently to Finn, there is no point even trying to deny it. You are both such contrasting characters, and in you – my daughter – I see the best of all the women who have made me who I am today. Some of them are women who you will never have the pleasure of meeting on this earth, but you will feel like you know so well from the stories that are told and retold to you. You are a delightful medley of characteristics from the long line of strong, fearless ladies you come from, but in the delicate mind and vulnerable body of a three year old girl.
For such a little cutesy looking girl, all wispy blonde hair and huge watery blue eyes, you certainly pack a personality punch. At the moment you are the youngest person on both sides of the family, not that you seem to have noticed. You command attention and captivate a room with your tall tales, the mischievous twinkle in your eyes and that devilishly naughty chuckle of yours. The way you throw your head back as you let out a laugh, your eyes flashing with glee, and your lovely belly shaking with delight- a belly you are so proud of. You’re such a little ringleader, and even if someone did call you bossy you’d take it as a compliment. You are so wonderfully unaware of criticism, and so confident in yourself that even the harshest of comments from your brother are taken in a very constructive manner. I hope you never lose this, I hope you don’t wake up one day and suddenly start becoming damaged by other people’s carelessness with their words. Stay strong little lady, don’t let the world’s expectations of an adorable little blonde girl define you. You are so much more than your appearance or your gender.
You’re a little warrior. I promise you. It’s in your blood.
On both sides of the family – mine and your Dad’s – you’re surrounded by women with grit. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to doting Aunts. In fact I’m not sure if there’s anything you can do in your life that won’t have at least one of them holding your hand along the way with a been-there-done-that reassurance that only an Aunt – by blood, marriage or name – can offer you. So if life starts to take it’s toll on you, trust me when I say you can always turn to these women, they have your back. They also don’t tell secrets, so remember that. You’re safe with them.
Of course I hope that whatever it is life throws at you, whenever you need a hand to hold, that you still come to me. Right now it’s easy, of course, as even the big problems in life for you at age three are very manageable for me to guide you through. But there may come a time when we are facing something together for the first time, and know that in that moment I will fight to the death for you, I will walk the world to find you, I will always support you, love you, and open my arms to you.
You can be anyone, do anything, and go anywhere. You can have whatever education you desire, wear what you wish, and go out with whomever you want. This, for you, is normal. But darling, I have to raise you to be aware that millions of other little girls throughout the world are far, far less fortunate. It is not enough for me to just teach you to be un-apologetically you. You are equipped with a powerful voice, a warriors spirit and your great-Grandmothers fearlessness. So take those amazing gifts you were born with and go into the world ready to fight the corner for all the other little Clara’s out there. The girls without a voice, those with a spirit being quashed by expectation and cultural traditions, and those who are taught to fear rather than be fearless.
You have it in you. Don’t be afraid to let it out. Never be afraid of anything.