I realize I never wrote a post for Gabriel on his birthday. It was hectic trying to get everything ready to our trip to Israel that I couldn't find the time to sit and write something meaningful for my special, special boy. So here it finally is, two months late!
My dear Gabriel,
You were my first newborn, my first crawler, my first toddler, my first introduction to this motherhood thing.
You were the first I said goodbye to at the church nursery, the first I left with someone other than myself, the first I took to Mother's Day Out, the first I cried over as I watched you go off into the world without me, even if it was only for a short period of time.
You were the first one to take a piece of my heart with you as you left my arms.
My mind is struggling with the reality that you will be a full-fledged preschooler soon. In a few short weeks, you will leave the nest, test your wings, discover that you don't need your Mama as much as we both thought.
It begins, this letting go. It excites me and it breaks my heart all at once.
You are entering a new stage of independence. You will learn to do more and more things on your own, need me for less and less, although I hope you'll want my help for a wee bit longer yet. You still need help getting your shoes on the right foot, but you've started saying, "I'm going to pretend you didn't tell me, so I did it all by myself."
Over the last year, I have watched you grow taller, yes, but I have also seen you become more tenderhearted. You take care of your baby brother with such sweetness, always ready to share or play with him. You have started getting along more with your little sister, too, which warms my heart. I know she isn't the easiest person to play with! Oh, and you love to pick your Mama flowers -- melt my heart!
You're so helpful. I can always count on you to give Asher his sippy cup, pacifier, blankie, a different toy, or something that he's dropped. You love to run and get a diaper or wipes for me, too, always proudly proclaiming, "I like to help you, Mommy!"
Only a few months ago, I would have called you shy, but I have seen you blossom as a four-year-old. You're still not the biggest talker, but you suddenly have much more to say to people other than your family. You make friends more easily now, which makes me so excited for your coming days of preschool.
I love how you're always ready to "make a deal." I'm not exactly sure where you first heard the phrase, but now you're always telling me things like, "If I share my candy, I don't have to share the Kindle, is that a deal?"
You are constantly learning. I can practically see the wheels turning in your head when you listen and you like to know that I understand what you say. "Does that make sense, Mommy?"
You just turned four in May, but you already insist that you're almost five. I guess that's fair, because when I look at you, I see a boy who is almost ten. Almost fifteen. Almost twenty.
When you have a little boy of your own, you'll understand just how quickly time flies. And I'm sure when you look at him, you'll want to slow time down just a little, like I do when I look at you.
I love you more than you'll ever know, Mighty Man. You'll always be my first.
Some of my favorite pictures of your fourth year + fifth summer.
|Picking Mama flowers!|
|Love this smile.|
|The zoo might be your favorite place in the world.|
Just wait until SeaWorld this summer!
|Proud of your first Lego car that Daddy helped you build.|