Today you turned four and a half. I can't believe it!!
It seems like I took this photo just last week - you came home after a month in the NICU and we couldn't stop staring at your adorable face.
I could tell early on that you were a tough one. Easy on the eyes with a sweet smile that belied the warrior inside you.
You fooled me, though. For an infant who needed constant rocking and walking and holding and Moby-wrapping...
...you turned into a child who is hard to contain! You crawled and rolled and pulled up to stand and now you're walking! And now when we try to hold you all you want is to get down and MOVE!!
As a baby, many people were unsure of what you would accomplish. I think they were trying to be "realistic" and set our "expectations" so we wouldn't be disappointed if you didn't reach certain milestones.
You should know that we nodded and smiled - but never really listened. We could see in your eyes that you were on your own path...and would get to your own destinations...and it would be in your own time.
And we trusted you.
And in turn, you taught us to trust ourselves. To trust our instincts.
They say your firstborn teaches you how to be a parent. This is so, very true. But Gavin - you've also taught us so much more.
You've taught us to accept. To believe in miracles. To be patient. To get your needs met without making enemies. You've taught us to trust our gut.
As your Mommy, I am proud of you every day. And...I am proud of myself. Just today I registered you for Kindergarten. As I sat across a table from some school district administrators, I started to explain to them just how special you are. I could see their expressions changing...as if they were thinking, "He won't fit in here - a child who is nonverbal, doesn't walk, doesn't eat solid foods..."
As I walked to my car I felt shocked. Early on in our journey, that exchange might have left me in tears. Anyone pointing out your glaring delays - it just crushed my spirit. But not anymore. Nope. As I walked away with my head held high I felt sad for them. Their school clearly isn't special enough for you...and it is them that will miss out on meeting an inspiring little boy. Because you change people, Gavin.
You change people.
Halfway to Five. We celebrate you every single day. You are loved.
"Believe you can and you're halfway there."