This week we celebrated yet another very special "Golden Birthday" in the Menzo house! That's right, your big brother Gabe turned 9 on March 9th. Yay! Que the birthday song & light the candles... its time for cake!
9 years ago on that blessed day, mommy and daddy welcomed our sweet Gabriel into our dream team, and what a special addition he is. We were now the proud parents of a sweet little girl and a beautiful baby boy. This would be our first glimpse into the reality that no two children are the same.
We got to witness the brother-sister bond between Gabe and Clara turn quickly to best friends. And in just a few short years we would begin to prepare him for a new staring role as "big brother." Addie, there is no other boy on this earth that loves being a "big brother" more than our Gabe. And... even more importantly, he loves YOU just the way you are with all his heart.
Gabe's excitement to be your big brother was addicting to watch. He really took focus on all things Clara was doing and had already done for him, and was eager to do the same for you! On December 26, 2010 he finally received his big promotion. You had arrived and we were a party of five.
Obviously our party of five proved to be a different experience than we all expected - in all the best ways my dear! Gabe was so adaptable and patient as he got to know you, his special baby sister. At a very young age he would learn a new word: Autism, and along with Clara go on to become an expert at explaining it to anyone. He would have a far better understanding of the sensory system than most adults, and be able to anticipate your needs without a single word spoken.
He talks to you like you're going to respond to him in the exact same fashion you're being spoken to, and loves nothing more than to hear you laugh. He makes it his craft to invent new, crazy and obnoxious sounds just in the quest to see your infectious grin! He's the first to point out "look what Addie did!" in excitement of something new or "did you hear what she said?!?!" when you use new words. Whenever we can find your lost teeth (it's true when you lose a tooth it's really gone, we don't know exactly what you did with it), he's most excited to see if the tooth fairy made a visit and left you a surprise!
Baby, he's your #1 fan, and he's YOUR big brother!
He loves penguins, baseball, Jesus and family dinners (oh and sweets... I mean - a lot...)! You share the same big ole' sweet tooth, love for cheeseburgers with only ketchup, and going to the beach to jump in the waves.
He's the first to ask how you did at school each day and never gets mad when you mess with his stuff or leave your banished little people toys all over his room. He's cautious yet adventurous - with anything but fruits and vegetables that is. He's not a fan and will present a strong case in why he should not try any of them. Silly Gabe, mommy always wins ;)
He takes the brunt of your Mike Tyson punches and kangaroo kicks when you're frustrated and is quick to forgive you every time. He may not share his silly jokes with you, but you can laugh for hours over a single silly sound he'll make. He may not play a game of HORSE in basketball with you - you'd be looking for the actual horse to appear, but he can find joy in you dribbling the ball with success along side him. He recognizes autism, but never lets it define opportunities in friendship with those that have it. It's just something like hair color to him.
So this week we celebrated a golden birthday for your all-star brother Gabe! And he deserved every second of it, for he truly has a heart of gold.
He loves you Addie and always will! You're not only his little sister, but also one of his best friends.