Happy Birthday Baby Gabe!

Happy Birthday Baby Gabe!

I don't know WHEN we will stop calling Gabe "Baby Gabe" but I know I'm not ready to let go of the ironic moniker. Despite his heft - or maybe because of it - he is the most cuddly and sweet little boy.

This morning I lifted him onto our bathroom counter which is taller than most counters and he was a good 6 inches taller than me up there. I gave him a hug with my head on his chest and I had this vision of hugging a 6'1"+ Gabe and it gave me all the feels.

Dear Gabe,

We conceived you during a very dark time in my life. Finding out we were pregnant was a much needed ray of hope and sunshine as I grieved your Mimi and Great Grandmother. With you growing inside of me during that difficult year, I was never alone and I had a very good reason to take better care of myself than I would have otherwise. Thank you.

Your birth and newborn stage were affirmations that I was stronger and tougher than I ever knew. I have never felt more powerful than when I gave birth to you. And I will be forever grateful for the pleasant surprise that I could breastfeed a baby after all. Thank you for being the good eater that you are.

I will not, however, thank you for the 9 months of sleep deprivation. For 7.5 months you would only nap on me or in a moving car and for 9 months you did not sleep through the night. I was a walking zombie. Thank God for the feel-good high of oxytocin from nursing or I would have mentally cracked.

You have grown so much in the last two years, but I think your heart has grown most of all. You have a massive love for all animals. You love to sing - your favorite song is "All you Need is Love" by the Beatles followed closely by "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." We often find you singing happily to yourself when you wake up from nap or first thing in the morning. Your morning exuberance sometimes even wakes your brother...can we talk about that? You have no volume control. Bless your little heart. You haven't met a soul you weren't willing to give a massive bear hug to. Your love is pure, unadulterated joy.

God bless you Gabriel Lincoln Athayde! <3