(I have a big thing about that. I am the 3rd of 3, and I have very few pictures of me, no home videos, and my shoes were never bronzed. I know that it doesn't really mean any thing (does it?), but still, I really do try my best to be sure that all is as even for the kids that I can make it...in their representation, I mean. Life's NEVER fair when you're little!)
So, I wanted to say a few words about my Gabriel.
When I was pregnant with him, I decided not to find out if the baby was a boy or girl. I say I decided because Jimmy really wanted to know, but I really didn't, and since it was my big belly, I figured I could call the shots on this one.
But I thought that he was a boy. I felt different with him than I did with the girls. I was tired a lot more and he just felt so big and heavy. When I went into labor and went to the hospital, they wanted to send me home because they thought that I was not dilated enough and the contractions were too far apart, but I know me, and I know that my contractions never get as close together as they want, they just get extremely hard and long and I knew that as soon as I went home, the baby would come, so I hung out in the hospital. Which was a good thing.
Gabriel came a few hours later.
He was actually a few days early, but, as always, God had His hand in this birth. Gabriel's cord was wrapped tightly around his neck such that had he not come out when he did, he may not have made it out alive. As it was, when he started to come out, they had to push him back in (yeah, I know!) and cut the cord from inside because it was so tight on his neck that it was strangling him. as soon as he was out, they tossed him up on my chest, as they do in hospitals, and he was on my chest, feet first. I knew then that he was definitely a boy! Then they immediately whisked him off because he was blue and not breathing unless they were physically rubbing him and stimulating him. But, it didn't take long and he was breathing fine and the only sign of the whole ordeal was a long bruise on his face from where they had to stick the scissors up by his face to cut the cord.
There are a few things that I remember about that hospital stay.
The first one was that I often checked his diaper and went to change it because I saw that there was something in there only to realize that the something that was in there was attached to Gabriel! I was not used to seeing 'extra appendages' in the diaper area!
Another thing that I remember was that I thought 'How am I ever going to do this? I have no idea how to raise a son!' (Any suggestions are welcome!)
And the last thing that I remember was how the propaganda all pushed me toward circumcision. Everything on the newborn channel that discussed the issue was for circumcision. Even to the point of one clip with a mother saying 'I finally decided to do what was right for my boys to have a normal life. I decided to circumcise.'
Poor Gabriel. I guess he'll never have a normal life.
Anyway, since then, Gabriel has been his own kid. He is vibrant and loves to get into anything. He faces the day head on. First thing when he wakes up, he wants to go outside, and he will stay there all day kicking and screaming when he needs to be hauled in to change his diaper or eat lunch.
And let's just say that in Gabe's mind, naps are for sissies. None of that sleeping in the middle of the day nonsense for him! No siree! It doesn't matter if he is so tired that he can barely see straight. He will NOT sleep! We finally got a noise machine that will make rain noises or waves or birds or whatever and when we put that on, we can sometimes get him to sleep more than 20 minutes...but not always.
He started walking at 9 months. And climbing. Anything and everything. He fearlessly just walks off the edge of steps, or beds, or chairs or anything that he has managed to climb up. He's got a great smile that he likes to share with everyone and a rapidly expanding vocabulary in both English and Spanish.
It feels very different to have a boy. His boyishness has helped me to let go a little and let the girls lean toward girlishness...a little bit. And I am excited to see him grow and watch him interact with his sisters. Every morning when Elizabeth goes to the bus stop, he yells out the window 'BYE IZZIE!' and when she returns, he is genuinely happy to see her.
He also plays with Jo and tolerates her hugs very well...to a point. Then he asks for his space with a squirm and a yell. But he loves to follow her and copy her, and she loves to
All in all, our kids are wonderful and exciting. It is wonderful to see them growing and beginning to fit into the plan that God has for their lives, and it is exciting to see His teachings begin to come out in their words and actions. And I can't wait to see what God has in store for them and our family as we walk with Him!