Happy Birthday, Gabe! - Livin' the Good Life
Jul. 11th, 2008
06:31 am - Happy Birthday, Gabe!
I wrote this for our fourth son, Gabriel, when he was in his late teens:
"My Dearest Gabe,
How very MUCH we welcomed you into our clan of boys on July 11th 1980! It was my smoothest pregnancy, my smoothest birth, and it was such a pleasant, fragrant summer day on our Indiana farm when you came and joined us. I remember feeling so grateful for you! All your brothers happily welcomed you, and even Damian was very kind to you (as kind as a two year old can be) and not jealous. You were bright and alert, and soon became quite charming! As you grew, you were always game to try anything your older brothers did, and you found that you were quite good at most things. You developed a light-hearted approach to life, though you could be very insistant on getting your own way and would resort to screaming if necessary. However, the most common expression on your face was a ready grin, and by elementary school you were becoming somewhat of a rascal! Playing tricks on people for the pleasure of a giggle or a belly-laugh was your favorite pastime. You often begged me to tickle you for "five minutes straight" just to see if you could bear it, laughing hysterically the whole time. (Damian's style, in contrast, was to show how long he could be tickled without so much as cracking a smile.) You had a flair for the dramatic, and you could often be seen spiritedly marching around outside in one of your homemade costumes, fully involved in some make-believe story.
You were my cuddliest child and would snuggle in bed with us up into your early teens. I remember telling you that you would make some girl very happy someday with your readily affectionate ways. When you were little, it took me some time to convince you that you were not going to marry ME when you grew up... that I was already married and you would find a wife of your own one day. (Some of your brothers had the same misconception when they were small.) I could easily imagine you married some day because you had such easy and amiable ways and were unashamedly sentimental. I remember thinking that someone would be lucky to have you!
And then came your teen years when you became more and more serious, to the point where I rarely saw that light-hearted child anymore. I'm convinced that he is still there, and I believe that the REAL Gabe is an attractive and pleasing mixture of both the serious and playful, which could be quite useful in all your endeavors. I believe that you have deeply important work to do in this world and that perhaps it took a turn to seriousness in order to discover it. Only you will know what that work will be, and it may take a while, but I'm sure we will watch with awe and admiration when you finally get on to what it is and move in its direction. In the meantime, you are experiencing the inevitable elation/turmoil of the journey into adulthood and coming to terms with just what that means. I honor you as you move into manhood. I know that you will do it with integrity and thoughtfulness, as well as great passion.
I love you dearly, Gabe, and I'm so glad you are my son!
Here's a "look at me" Gabe:
Here's Gabe being a marionette in the play "Pinocchio". He was a natural!
And here's "action Gabe"!