I don't call you Gabriel very often. You're my little Gabe. You're mommy is amazed and caught off guard at how fast time ticks by. One year ago today, we brought you home from the hospital. You had been making new friends there for about 3 months. Plenty of nurses loved taking care of you. You had a knack for getting caregivers wrapped around your tiny finger. Of course your parents were hooked from day one.
We had complex emotions as we packed you and your things. We had gratitude for everyone who helped take care of your brother at home while mom went back and forth to the hospital for you and your sister. We had blissful charm in our hearts for one more healthy baby able to leave the tangle of wires and monitors. Soon you would be in the secure arms of mommy and daddy. We had one-third of our hearts broken. Your sister, still not ready, would be left behind again as she had to say good-bye to another brother. Taking another angel home while still leaving one behind wasn't any easier the second time.
But now! A year later, you love to roughhouse with your dad. You love to be held down and tickled. You love when someone chases you. Your loud laughter echoes through our home. You were the last one to crawl and a little behind your sister and brother when it came time to roll and move. Now you are upright, bi-pedal and I can't close doors fast enough to keep your curious legs out. You are a magician in finding out every place you're not supposed to go and in finding everything you shouldn't have. Your day is full tilt from the minute you wake up to the moment your little blond head hits your favorite red blanket.
You have taught your mommy so much. I've learned that even though you might share a mom, a womb, a room, a birthday, the same breakfast, every child is unique and extraordinary with their own style, quirks and independent spirit. I've learned to never underestimate one's ability to learn and change. I've learned that prayer is powerful, grounding and completely crucial to raising children. I've learned a mother's heart is indeed capable of loving more than one tiny baby, more than one homecoming miracle, more than one busy, buzzing toddler.
Happy Homecoming Day Gabe. We love you so much.