Saturday, September 24, 2011

Gabriel is 4!

I became a mother four years ago yesterday. I was thrilled, exhausted, thankful, relieved, excited, scared, happy and clueless. I had no idea what being a mother to that baby boy would do to me. It has probably brought out the best and worst in me as I grow daily in learning who he is and trying to parent him in a God-honoring way. Somedays I am overwhelmed by how much I love that little boy and somedays I am ashamed of how impatient I can be as a mother.
For his birthday this year, we treated him to a Happy Meal at McDonald's. Yes, that is a treat here. I think he had a Happy Meal back around Christmas time last year. So it was a big deal for him to get that special little toy and have his own food to eat, instead of sharing Mom's (i.e., mine). As we were sitting there eating, he said, "Wow, this is a fun party!"
(Gabriel took this picture of his Happy Meal toy)
Then we took him to a toy store and let him pick out a gift he wanted. It took him a while
(maybe that was kind of mean of us to do, to give him all those options and say "you can only pick one."), but he finally settled on a Cars bat and ball set.
(Um, no, you can't have the $350 jeep)
Today, we invited our church people over for a little party. I made cupcakes and little hotdogs and we had a great time.
(Another picture I found on the camera that Gabriel took of one of his toys)
Mommy and Daddy love you, little son. You are God's precious gift to us. We had no idea what to expect when you arrived, but you have turned our world upside down. You have taught us what it means to love someone unconditionally, to set aside our desire to eat/sleep/shower/go places whenever we want to attend to your needs, to humbly admit we were wrong when (before children) we used to think "my kid will NEVER do THAT", to feel almost physical pain when you are hurt. We love your love for books, your facility in learning numbers and letters, your silliness that makes us and Juju laugh, your excitement over even the simplest things, your attention to detail. And while your insistence that things be done the same way every time can be a bit frustrating, that is part of who you are, and we love that too. But maybe you can ease up a little on having to have your blankets tucked in just so at night. :)
Tonight, after everyone had left, Gabriel said, "I got 4 now, but I'm not big! I'm still little!" I guess he was imagining he would have a huge growth spurt to show that he is now a big 4-year-old. He can never understand that to Mommy and Daddy, he is growing way too fast.