With every year, I am reminded of how quickly life passes by. Cliché, yes, but it truly does seem like just yesterday that I was a naïve newlywed finding out that Jason and I were expecting our first child. How clueless I was of exactly how much my life was about to change. No more sleeping in, shopping alone, making decisions for me. Life became about sacrifice, about this little person relying solely on me. I came to know a love that most closely compares to the love my God has for me, for all His children. I became a mom to Gabe.
And now, as he turns 11 years old, I thank God so much for him. Gabe is the child that ushered me into motherhood, perhaps somewhat harshly with three months of colic and sleepless nights. He was strong-willed from the start and a handful as a toddler. He required a strong hand and strength of heart. I remember many mornings spent down on my knees asking the Lord for the strength to make it through another day following yet another sleepless night. It was trial by error my first years of motherhood. And I thank Gabe for that. I think if Gabe had been an 'easy' child, I may have failed to seek the Lord as earnestly as I had to just to survive (ha!)
So today as I celebrate Gabe's birthday, I also thank him for making me a mom. I thank him for making me a better person, one learning through my mistakes stumbling through those early years of motherhood and never failing to graciously forgive his mama when I'd fall short.
Gabe, you truly are my hero. You are a child who is wise beyond his years. You show others a sense of humility and love that is inspiring and that rewards you with loyal friendships and love from your siblings that will always bless you. You are the most hard-working kid I know and always willing to lend a hand when needed without asking. You are thoughtful and kind. You are a leader and possess a strength of character that makes your dad and I so proud. And you are just plain fun and a pleasure to be around. Although we try, words cannot express how much we love you. I know the Lord has great plans for you throughout your life and I can't wait to see the fruits of your faith. Thank you for inspiring me to be a better person and for just being you. Happy birthday, Gabe!