It seems you have been alive as long as I have. The truth is I suppose my life never felt like it held much consequence or meaning until you came along. I think anyone who knew me would have been utterly devastated to lose me ;) but in the grand scheme of things every person hopes to leave some sort of imprint or impact on this world. My imprint is you. You and Eden, and "the finale". Everything I do impacts you in one way or another. Whether I wash the dishes or not, impacts you; the type of food I cook, impacts you; being angry, impacts you; loving you, impacts you. Every move I make is mimicked, repeated, or watched. Everything I do and everything I am reflects directly through your behaviour, your choices, and your life.
You are more than a genetic copy of your father and I, whether you like it or not (and no one likes it!) you will end up being more like your parents than you will ever care to admit. It's inevitable. That's why it is such an important job. Once you become a parent, you are now in charge of shaping a person's character. A parent's actions and words weigh heavily on a mind that has not yet learned the difference between literal or figurative, or truth from fiction. And that weight shapes a persons sense of morality and their beliefs; and will impact things like how they treat others, how they treat themselves, and how they view their world. Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Do you jump in or take your time? Is the world beautiful and full of wonder, or dark and full of negativity?
Don't get me wrong, you have a choice in these things as well. You can change and become someone better, or even someone worse; but in the beginning when you are still a child, when choice is more of an elusive word than a definitive action, a parent will influence almost every aspect of their child and his/her life. That's why becoming a parent is so scary. It's not just about keeping a child physically alive and well, it's keeping them from harm in every sense of the word. Mental harm can be just as devastating as a physical one. A child called stupid can be just as affected as one who breaks a limb. And as with all injuries it will take time to heal and the right treatment to heal correctly.
I admit I haven't learned everything there is to know about proper parenting, unfortunately there is never any "right" answer. I suppose the best you can do is try and stay as far from the obvious wrong answers as possible. So Gabriel, this being your 29th month, and probably one of the most challenging with the terrible twos, and potty training, I just have to say... I'm doing my best and I hope to God it's good enough because I love you more than words can ever say!
All of you kids are my teachers, and I hope to always do right by you!