You know when you are a kid and you wake up on Christmas and don't want to move? You're SUPER excited to see if Santa came, but are afraid to move in case he hasn't and if he hears you, you'll get nothing! And then you start to think about all the toys you wanted and are anxious to see if you actually got them. So you're at the peak of your happiness thinking about it, but anxiety-ridden all at the same time.
That's me on my kids' birthdays. I'm about to bust from excitement and anxious about what the day will bring, what the next year will bring, all of it swirling in my head.
My Gabey is four. Even a day later it makes me teary.
I, of course, tortured myself and listened to his day of birth playlist, aptly named "Deuce Day". I was doing pretty well until Nora Jones' song "Chasing Pirates" came on. I cannot remember why we added this song originally other than we just really liked it. Well, years later we would have a boy that LOVES pirates. And when that realization struck me, I cried.
Yesterday morning Carter said to Gabe, "Happy birthday, buddy!" And he said thanks excitedly and hugged her. That was the tip off. That was the coming downstairs to see all your presents in the glow of Christmas lights. It was the "buddy" that got me. They are buddies, they're best friends, and I love that for them. When I use "Team Patrouch" I really mean it. We are a team.
Marc's biggest duty as a father has been to tell me the gender of the baby right after s/he was born. On June 25, 2010 he said to me, "Well, we have to decide if he's a Gabriel or a Benjamin!" And then we high fived. Yep, we high fived right there in the OR! Good times.
I couldn't believe it, we had our boy. We had our namesake. Let me be clear here, we NEVER worried about which gender we were having which is why we waited until their birth days to find out. If Gabriel had been a Harper that day, we would have been 100% ok with it. BUT I will say, there is something really special about seeing a dad hold his son. A really big 9 pound, 2 ounce son!
And to this day, there is something about Marc and Gabe together. They make me all gooshy.
That boy makes me a big ol' puddle of softness. Maybe it's because we are the same astrological sign, Cancer. That's the crab if you don't follow such things: hard exterior, soft inside. Pretty much describes the two of us to a T. Or maybe it's the fact he is the middle of three with sisters on either side and I was the middle of five with boys on each side. I understand his position in life. Whatever it is, I melt for him. I am weak and defenseless when it comes to him.
But he has given me so much. He has given me the strength to be a momma bear. He has given me the strength to be soft and gentle. He loves me for exactly who I am with no questions or expectations. Except he does tell me to wear my hair down and put on glasses!
Out of all the kids I feel as though I've had to "work" with Gabriel the most. I've had to learn to be patient, accepting, flexible, but also concrete and strong in my ways. He challenges me. He pushes me to limits I didn't know were possible. But God does he make up for it when he gives me the tightest hugs possible. And he never lets go first. Ever. And he always wants one more interaction with me before bed. It's as if he couldn't sleep without knowing I'm there for him.
And I will ALWAYS be there for him. No matter what. He's my Gaberdoodle.
I asked him last night if he's gonna live here forever and he said no. At four he knows he has bigger plans. But good God do I hope that he always comes home, always gives me those big hugs, and always plays with his dinosaurs. I may keep a box around forever and force him to play!
And maybe, just maybe, one day Marc and Gabe will play dinosaurs with Gabe's son and my heart will officially explode!
Gabriel Benjamin, boy oh boy do I love you. I love your floppy hair that you're trying to grow out to look like Loki. I love your big ol' AC Slater dimple. I love your little butt that can't hold up pants. And I can't forget your green sweater that you've grown very attached to the past few months.
And thanks for loving my chocolate chip cookies. Just say the word when you want more!!!
The kids are obsessed with Katy Perry's "Firework" and I actually think it's pretty fitting for them! Enjoy.