My sweetest Gabe,
Today, you are six. Six years ago, I held you in our hospital room completely shaken. Terrified of the unknown and of the little one that I held so tightly in my arms. It all seems like a dream; like it happened forever ago. And yet, I remember it all — I remember you — so vividly. You were precious, and though I was experiencing some postpartum problems, you were so trusting and so comfortable with me. Almost like you were soaking in every moment while you laid in my arms — as though you hadn’t been physically attached to me for nine months, prior. I’ve never been so in love with and more terrified of anyone in my whole life. You shook my world and threw me for loops I still cannot explain. I’ve tried; I got nothin’. But I can tell you this…
You were my first heart throb. My look into both wonders and terrors my heart cannot always clearly decipher. You are my popcorn giggling, wild one. You are the reason all those years ago that I pulled through at all. You were, and are, my hero.
That’s not to say that you aren’t a tough one to handle from time to time. You are not perfect; you are not angelic. You are a hardheaded mule of a kid. You are all boy — unless sweat is involved. You have broken my heart once or twice (s’ok, though — it’s normal) and you have lit fires in me that the pits of hell envy. You have, unfortunately, adopted your mother’s knack for all things clumsy and scare me with said clumsiness on the regular. You, much like your younger brother, are part of the reason mom keeps a hard cider stocked fridge. But, also like your brother, you are my beautiful little guy. And I love you as bright as the sun shines.
You are compassionate and tenderhearted. You love everyone and cannot understand how I can muster such hard feelings for some. You are special and will do great, great things. I plan on asking you a dozen questions later on things you like; bear with me… I’m getting old and nostalgic. Your Aunt Catie says I’m already there, so you can thank her for that. But for now, here are a few things about you that I think are pretty terrific… even the not always so great things. Because they make you, you.
- You love your little brother with everything you have. I know one day this will change. Not that you’ll love him less — but little brothers and big brothers do not always stay so close… and then one day, it’s like nothing ever changed. For now, you’re smitten. Thank you for that.
- You have an affinity for pizza, YooHoos, and donuts (not necessarily in that order… or all together). If I’d let you, that would be your meal of choice at least until you get married.
- You build things with such flair and ease. I’m very proud how well you do things with your hands and your fascination with figuring things out. Though, I’m not always excited about all the broken toys lying around the house.
- We’ve had a hard road since finding out about your SPD/ADHD diagnosis, but you really have made some awesome strides. We haven’t really told you about it because to us, you’re normal. And really, you are. You love to learn and I’m confident that your “road blocks” will be just that: road blocks. You can’t do everything, bud — but there’s NOTHING you can’t do.
- You like to play dress up — usually in your Superman cape and a bow tie. Don’t ask me why; I really couldn’t tell you. But you call yourself “The Professor”, which is all kinds of funny and peculiar.
- You are quirky. I love it.
- You are loud and loaded with energy. I don’t always love that. 7 A.M. comes early on Saturdays, kiddo. You’ll understand one day.
- I put the “Motherhood HooDoo curse” on you and Connor the other day in a fit of pure agitation. I’d take it back if I could. But I can’t. So, apologies if your kids are The Children of the Corn. I’ll love them, anyway… but you’ll understand if I sleep with my eyes open. Won’t you?
- You’ve taken to bribing me lately. Or, should I say trying to bribe me. You’re really bad at it, which gives me confidence that you probably won’t be an outlaw one day.
- Reading is one of your favorite things to do. And by reading, I mean making me read any book so many times that you could repeat it by memory in your sleep. True story.
- You love your “Padre” dearly. When he and I first got together (you were two, then), that was my first priority. He was the first and only guy I’d dated after your dad & I split. You loved him from the start and he has loved you like his own. Pretty sure you believe he farts rainbows — although I’m here to tell you he does NOT.
- You were born with an irregular ear lobe. It’s not deforming (obviously) and hardly noticeable. It’s pretty much your birthmark. You came home the other day devastated because some kid teased you about it. Honey, if your ear lobe is the only thing you’ll ever be teased about, be grateful. People pay for their ears to look like that these days; at the very least, be thankful you’ll never chuck out $100 for a cosmetic ear lobe change.
- You call Batman’s Bat Mobile the “Batmanbile”. I correct you so you won’t be embarrassed, but that’s one of my favorite things.
- If I’d let you walk about the house (or the yard, for that matter) in just your underwear and Converse, you’d be set for life. For legal purposes and modesty’s sake, I cannot do that. Again, one day you’ll understand.
You are the Calvin to my Hobbes. Not a day has passed that I haven’t been honored to be your momma — even on the hardest of hard days. You may not like me much some days, and you may not always understand, but I hope one day you’ll get it. I hope, sooner than later, that you’ll understand how deep my love has run for you. Happy birthday, sunshine.