I'm looking at the pictures we took the week you turned four and it doesn't even seem like I am looking at the same kid. As I am entering into veteran mom mode, I have come to learn that some years are just really big growing years. Son, I think it was undoubtedly your biggest growing year yet.
In size, you are perhaps a little heavier but you've stretched out in ways that improve your ability to run faster, bike further and diminish the classic Gabriel Buddha belly. Honestly, I'm a little sad for that to go. But more than physical changes, in this year... your optimistic personality, uncompromising wit and charismatic charm flourished.
To stand in the sunlight of you might have been my best gift received this year.
I have always believed that if the world could love like you do, we would all be in a better place. You are the ideal middle to our family with a love that centers us all.
As we inch closer to six and seven, I know that things will start to change. You may not always want to cuddle in movies, pick me flowers in every field or think that "31 is best how old you can be of all" just because it's my number. I'm okay with that. Because unlike Molly and Lucy, you and I will cover uncharted territories of interests not reflected in my own childhood. I'm excited for them. Yet another opportunity for you to show me something new and wonderful in this world.
For now though, I'm going to proudly stay right where we are and keep it close. All your endless questions, insightful views and neurotic routines, I'll treasure it daily.
I love you so much, Gabriel. You're officially a whole hand old. That deserves one awesome high five at breakfast.