Sunday, November 25, 2007

Claire (My Sacred Life, Sunday)

Claire is a sophomore in high school this year, just at that point where high school is getting to be a comfortable place to be. It's a place she will be for another two and a half years, so it is good to see her settling in. This photo is one taken as she and her peeps prepared to depart for the Homecoming their limo, of course.

She feels everything deeply, does Claire. Her friends and even people she doesn't know well at all are all part of her caring world. Her goal is for everyone to be happy and healthy, and it is clear that it bothers her a lot when her world is impinged upon by the unfortunate events of life. Her aunt nicknamed her "Claire Bear" when she was little, and it is appropriate that it echoes "Care Bear"--she has so much she cares about, and she loves strongly.

Diabetes entered our world as well as Claire's when she was diagnosed years ago. While she was too young at first to administer her own insulin shots, she was always eager to take on that responsibility for herself. She was so slight a lass that finding a place to do the injection was difficult at first. Since she has been doing the shots herself, she has also grown to become a young woman with more areas she can target when it is time for some insulin. She has gotten better and better at managing her blood-sugar levels, a truly difficult task when one is in the years of tremendous change in hormones and growth.

The youngest of my four daughters, Claire is approaching that magic age when she will be empowered with, and given the responsibility of, driving. I hope to help her learn, just as I have with her older sisters. She is clearly mature enough to handle the challenge. And, it is time for her to be able to start spreading those wings a bit!

Claire has really taken to the sport her sister, Allison, loves: Ultimate. This photo shows her, in white, on defense. She is a very determined player, often being recognized in the tournaments she has played in as either the player with the most spirit or the best attitude/sportsmanship.

It is interesting that she chose to apply for a part-time job at the bakery in our neighborhood which has been a fixture for decades. You would think that having diabetes and working in a bakery might create problems, but Claire has managed just fine. And, she is already one of their most-reliable workers after only a few months.

Claire's challenge now is that she grew up being the baby of the family. (seems like a good point in the monologue for this shot, which Julia took a number of years ago, as the Jenga game Claire and I were playing reached the decision point. I honestly don't recall who made the tower fall)

As with any birth-order position, there are challenges and advantages. The problem with being the youngest is that there comes a day when most of the advantages of that position have become passé. Then, you have to adjust both your relationships within the family and in how you see and deal with the world to come to a more mature place within yourself.

While it is sometimes a struggle, Claire has made huge strides in the last year and is well on her way to having peer relationships with her sisters--that's where they should be, at least eventually, so it is good to see them learning that and adjusting to it. Over time, they will get there, I'm sure.

She has always been a big help for Julia, who is her stepmom. As Julia was telling me today, Claire grasps new tasks and how to do them so quickly that Julia is often amazed to see her handling something in the garden or elsewhere around the house as if she has been doing it for years. It's another of her personal traits which will serve her very well as she enters the adult world. If you are a willing-to-help person and a competent one, your place in this world is secure.

For Claire, I wish nothing any different than I have in my heart for all my girls: that she discover and pursue her passion in life, and that she live her life to the fullest she is able to live it. She is not one to back away from anything, so I am confident I will see her triumph in any area she chooses to dive into. That's where happiness is: it's in the diving in, not the toe-dipping! I know she will find it.

My darling, daring, dynamic Claire Bear...My Sacred Life Sunday today.


Julie said...

Wow, another BEAUTIFUL daughter, Rick - congratulations. SO fun reading about her.

Lillithmother said...

I love reading how much YOU love your daughters warms this mama's heart!

peace and shakin' the tree,

Sylvain said...

Sounds like another wonderful young lady Rick. You are truly blessed.

Kikipotamus said...

What a sweetheart! You ARE blessed.

ladybug said...

I love reading your words and thoughts about your always makes me smile inside to think of you in their lives.

thanks for sharing them with us, and being there for them.


rebecca said...

when you write from the heart you will never fail to connect with the world and to invite others into the happiness of your heart. another lovely post and another special young lady.


Claire said...

what a beautiful tribute to a beautiful girl!! say hello to my namesake and give her a big hug from her english diabetic sister :o) xx

Beverly Keaton Smith said...

What a lovely tribute to Claire...As a daughter of a "distant" yet loving Dad, I can only imagine how much it fills Claire's heart to read such wonderful words written by her dad about her...She's a lucky gal! Beverly


What a beautiful tribute to your precious daughter...I hope you'll save that someplace to be a found treasure of hers as she ages even more.


Rick, Could you list your official blogsite name for me. The only way I seem to be able to get back to your site is to reference it from mine and I would rather have it as a click away rather than loading mine, etc.