As first-time parents, the birth of our son on February 14, 2003, was like an earthquake. Alex’s entrance into the world dramatically shifted our lives and my husband and I were instantly overcome by our love for our newborn son. Alex’s arrival was difficult. I had a long and grueling labor, and Alex suffered from colic that started when he was only two days old. Four months later, Alex’s colic subsided and he bloomed into a happy and vibrant baby.
Alex developed into a young boy who was exceptionally active, highly social and extremely empathetic. At age four, he instantly bonded with his newborn sister and she quickly became his sidekick. Alex loved spending time with his family and friends having great fun outdoors in the spectacular coastal California area we are fortunate to call home. We spent our weekends in the ocean—body boarding, surfing, snorkeling—or hiking, biking, and camping. We traveled as often as we could on fun family vacations throughout California and the West, Hawaii, the East Coast and Europe.
Community was extremely important to Alex and he enjoyed close relationships with his circle of family and friends. He loved eating out at restaurants and socializing with the wait staff. At an early age, he eagerly embraced sleepovers and playdates at his friends’ houses, but he also loved staying home and hanging out with his parents, sister, cats and dog. Alex never met a sport he didn’t love and particularly enjoyed leadership roles in team sports. Alex thrived at his school, and was fully engaged with his classes and extracurricular activities there. His school was truly his community and he attended the same one from kindergarten until the middle of sixth grade when he withdrew due to his illness.