Gabriel, how wonderful it is to celebrate your second year. And I mean that with every fiber of my being. It has been such a stark contrast to your first year of life. Different in every way. But we found our groove, didn’t we? And I’d like to say it has been a good one.
We survived a fractured tibia which resulted in our first trip to urgent care. Wearing a cast for a full month wasn’t fun but it allowed you to heal completely. It didn’t slow you down either. We survived the transition to one nap. In hindsight, you actually made that easier for us by getting all your funky nap stuff out of the way before fully transitioning. We made new friends this year. And not just acquaintances but real friends that add so much to our life. We faced a whole lot of pressure to do things this way and that way. But I stood my ground and did what was best for us.
Our adventures were many which allowed you to discover so much of the world around you. You explored to your hearts content. You discovered the ocean and the joy it brings. You absolutely love the rush of the cold water against your legs. We also discovered just how much you love swimming pools too! We walked, we ran, and we played in the dirt. We discovered new trails. And sometimes you are simply more content to explore around you rather than playing on the playground. We covered some distance and spent some time in Southern California which is always an adventure when it comes to visiting Mimi & Poppy. And we finally took our first family vacation to Apple Hill. It sure was hot but you were a trooper. What can I say, you love to explore, you love to go. And you almost always have a good time. I feel so privileged that I am the one who gets to introduce you to this amazing world around you.
When you aren’t exploring, you can often be found building. Building with blocks, building with magna tiles, stacking, knocking down, making order. I know I shouldn’t be surprised but your critical thinking is so sharp for such a young age. You learn fast and do your best to help. “Vacuuming” and “sweeping” are totally your thing. You’ve started carrying things up the stairs for me. You know how to use a drill, roll paint, and install floating floor. You know when those knee pads need to go on and how to put them on. You have an observant mind.
This year I’ve watched you slowly start coming into yourself. You laugh and play with such a joyful heart (though we already kind of knew that.) You freely extend kindness to those around you, especially those your age. Always ready to share. It is interesting to see how you love the company of others but do so cautiously. You take the time to make sure someone is safe before welcoming them in. And let me tell you, you have a pretty good read on people. Don’t ever stop doing this. You are incredibly sharp. You learn quickly, intently, and often times I know you know more than you are letting on. You have long since put two and two together. And you know how to express your needs. It’s pretty amazing for only being on this earth for two years.
When you came into this world my heart changed in a way I still can’t fully express. And now, as we wrap up our second year together I am awed at how my heart continues to grow and in a way, burst, with love for you. We can have a rough day but by the end of it you melt my heart. From the little things like the way you like to cross your legs and make sure your blanket is in place while reading books. Or how amazingly silly you get during our bedtime routine. It is unlike any other time of the day. And now you are giving real hugs and real kisses. And they are real. You mean them with every fiber of your being. So pure and so true. I know that will change in the years to come but I am happy to embrace every amazing moment with you right now. After all, that’s what they all say, enjoy the time/cherish these years, it goes by so fast.
You are an amazing ray of light.