They grow up so. extremely. fast.
Just blink and you’ll miss it all.

Once upon a time not so long ago, there was a sweet little boy born.  He was little and squishy, with a moderate dusting of brown hair.

He was our third child, our second boy, and our first challenge.
We called him Gabriel. 

Gabe grew into an intense toddler.  He bit people when he was excited, which was often as he was always in go mode.  He was the destructor, unable to contain his energy.  He was an ADHD poster child. 

The key word in all those descriptive sentences is was.
Gabe would not stay in that stage very long, though my memories of those crazy days are quite fond and bring us much laughter.  While still intense, he has grown into a controlled mostly controlled, well mannered, silly, joyful, and big hearted young man.

But he never grew out of his squishiness.  To this day,  Gabe is a caregiver, a hugger, a lover.  He is remarkably sweet.
Though wrestling with his dad and brothers brings out the serious warrior in him, a man in the making, a future leader.

The boy is a culinary artist at heart.  Always wanting to create in the kitchen.  He has big plans of being the head chef in his own restaurant someday.
And owning a petting zoo.
And designing a kids’ kitchen where children can come learn how to cook and prepare meals to take home to their families.
He likes working with his hands.  Drawing, creating, cooking…

Today he turns 10.  He’s been waiting a long time to hit the double digits and he’s finally made it!

Gabe,
Thank you for being such a good boy.  Thank you for your giggles, for your silly jokes, for your squishiness, your hugs, your protective instincts, your intensity…
Thank you for being you.

Happy tenth birthday, Gabe!  Your family treasures you as the true, life changing gift from God that you are.

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