Turned six years old
On April 12th.
Gabriel was born seven-and-a-half weeks premature, and had to stay in the NICU for two months. He was such a cute little peanut; all the nurses loved him. He was extraordinary because, from the earliest age, when he was still in the hospital, he would smile and laugh. I'm not kidding. It wasn't gas, and it wasn't baby gurgling. Gabey smiled and laughed before he'd even reached his due date. And he has been a happy, laid-back, delightful little boy every day that we've had the blessing to have him for our own.
I'm sorry to be delayed in reporting the momentous fingers-on-two-hands birthday, but with the busy-ness of the the weeks after Easter, all the streamers and balloons here just didn't make their way into the computer.
But, it's important, so here's the scoop:
Gabey was very happy to have his birthday party a little early this year so he could celebrate with a big gang. So, the Friday after Easter when all his brothers and sisters (except Paul -- and Nicole) were here, Gabe blew out candles with the other Easter birthday boys: Kevvy, who turned 21 on March 25th and Jon, who turned 19 on March 28th. (Tributes to these guys coming soon...)
Gabe got lots of really wonderful gifts from his grandparents and aunts and uncles and -- well, everybody! But his favorite present was this baseball glove:
We like our Gabe. He's just a pleasure to be around. Here's the kind of boy he is: Today I was in my room folding clothes when he came in and surveyed the stacks of folded laundry all around me on the bed. He climbed up to help fold washcloths, like he usually does, and said, with such a sweet sympathetic look on his face, (and I quote):
"I'm sorry about all the clothes, Mommy. It's just that there are so many of us and we get dirty so fast."
He's got it figured out, huh? And he's just so sweet. I was so touched by his apology that I apologized back to him and told him I didn't mind his dirty clothes. And he does get dirty, let me tell you! He's not perfect; he and his little brother get into a good share of squabbles and scrapes... But, when I ask Gabey to do something for me, he always gives me a little salute and says, "It's my pleasure." He's such a courteous little man and always so eager to help. You can't stay mad at him.
I so enjoy each of my little girls and boys when they reach this age. Six-year-olds rock. They just do. There's something very special about the lingering innocence and the dawning awareness of the world around them that is touching and tender and funny. That's Gabe right now. He's a very special six-year-old. And growing up so fast.
I love ya, Gabe!