Written by Jo H.
Introducing Gabriel Alexander: the ultimate souvenir from my last travel adventure.
The independent, footloose and fancy-free traveling life might be over for me, but I can’t say that it’s upsetting to have a tiny sidekick. I always wanted to share my travels with someone and now I’ll get to show Gabriel the world and see it all in a new light, through the eyes of my child.
I dreamt of having the privilege of being a parent, and imagined what that might entail. Nothing really can prepare you for it though, no matter how many books you read or parents you know. It didn’t come to me how I thought it might, and it definitely happened later than expected, but it happened nonetheless! Being a mom is exhausting and challenging, and I’ve discovered that the whole “it takes a village to raise a child” thing is not just about the child… It’s about the parents. If it weren’t for my village, my friends, I’d have collapsed in mere days under the weight of my fear, uncertainty, and the lack of sleep associated with caring for this tiny new being. My friends and family gathered around Gabe and I and became our village, and I couldn’t be more blessed by their loving care and support.
It’s all due to them that I’ve had the time and energy to devote to getting to know my son. Over the past 6 weeks that he’s been here with me, I’ve fallen in love with him more and more every day. The funny thing is, I feel like I already know him so well, like he is a part of me and I’m complete with him. There are times when I am holding him and I sigh, or take a deep breath, and then he does the same, directly afterwards… Like we are linked. In the mornings when he wakes up, he squishes his face into such contortions and makes me laugh, and then he gives me this smile like he knows why I’m laughing. Sometimes he’s eating or sleeping and he smiles and giggles for some reason, and I wonder what he’s dreaming about, and if his dreams are as vivid as mine. When he cries and I pick him up, and then he snuggles his head into my neck to soothe, we are so connected it just melts my heart. His little body is so familiar to me, it’s like he was always meant to be here in my arms. He is the very best love that I have ever known.
This handsome little man is the best miracle of my entire existence. He was an unexpected gift that already has filled my life with so much joy, and I know will continue to do so forever and a day.