On Monday, my first baby boy turned four.
I’d wonder where time went, but most of all, I don’t really remember a time before Gabe. It has absolutely been the best four years of my life, raising this sweet little boy alongside Mike. The difficulties aren’t too difficult yet (I literally couldn’t sleep last night because I was worrying about him in high school. Hi, I’m crazy. Have we met?) and the good stuff is so good it makes my heart flutter and swell and I could just burst with happiness some moments.
I don’t long for the baby days, though I do feel a bit wistful over how darn gigantic he is now. I want to still scoop him into my lap and cuddle with him, but that’s getting more and more difficult. I know in a few years, four will seem so *small* and in many ways I’m reminded just how wee he is.
This is Gabe at age four.
Gabe has the biggest imagination – he can take a string and make it a stethoscope, he can take cotton swabs and make them building materials for a house. He can take GRE flash cards and make them ‘parking tickets’ (?? I have no idea.) He loves to play ‘campout’ and ‘check ups’ and trains and ‘ghost.’
Gabe is innocent – he’s still rather sheltered from most violence and pretty much any TV aside from PBS Kids and my cooking and HGTV reality shows. He thinks guns are garden hoses and people are spraying each other with water when the kids at school pretend they have guns. I know our days of innocence are numbered, so I’m savoring him being little while it lasts.
Gabe is a fantastic buddy – he will watch my TV shows happily, he wants to snack on the same things we want to snack on (and is ALWAYS up for a snack), and he adores both Starbucks and Target. It’s kind of awesome how you can make your kids mini versions of you. It’s like I get to hang out with a clone…just a 4-year-old version of Mike and me.
Gabe is a homebody – he loves to be at home. When we were considering moving to a different location – maybe a house or condo with a yard, he was vehemently opposed, telling us repeatedly how much he loved our apartment.
Gabe is incredibly kind and loving – as I’ve mentioned before, he is the best big brother ever. I can’t even believe it, myself, how sweet and attentive and patient he is with Theo. And with other kids, he is not one to get into fights or arguments. He is far more shy than he is confrontational. He tends to be more quiet and sweet than assertive and outgoing.
Gabe is starting to develop his own values and opinions. He told me yesterday that he wants to “save the animals, not eat them.” Which is hilarious, because Mike and I are not really animal people. I think Charlotte’s Web might have influenced him a little. ;)
Gabe is not perfect – he certainly has his moments of screaming and crying and collapsing with frustration.In even those most difficult moments, it’s easy to have compassion for this sweet little boy because I can tell he’s trying *so hard* to get himself calm with his little ragged breaths and tears spilling out of his eyes.
Although I wasn’t thrilled to be nine days overdue in June, I was thrilled to have a little more time with Gabe as my only child. I sobbed one night I thought I was going into labor, mourning the end of an era where we got to spend our days together uninterrupted by the needs of a baby. I told him we’ll still have our junk food dates (Starbucks, Krispy Kreme, Taco Bell…I have my vices), and so far we have.
These days, every day is a mix of moments that make my heart soar and moments so difficult I want to cry. It’s a good mix, if not a little intense.
I’m so incredibly grateful I was chosen to be his mom. I am so thankful he made me a mother. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect son for me. He is everything I never knew I wanted.