I know, buddy. There are so many fingers in front of your face, even I am in complete and total shock at the hilarity of it all.
I'm aware there have been a number of clues to prepare me for this. I couldn't stretch those pants below your mid-ankle even if I wanted to. (Psst. I want to.) Those giant chiclet teeth overtaking that itty-bitty, baby teeth spacing? Yeah. I see them. Those big boys just scream SEVEN. Your inquisitive nature on all things the world and it's people are so well beyond seven...
So, why the heck then do I still look at your face every day and see this?
Perhaps it is because this sweet little face, with the purest loving heart and a fearless honesty continues to stare back at me daily through the same beautiful, crystal, blue eyes. Only now, instead of the impish grin of a child that has just devoured the majority of a blue piece of chalk, it is the reflected at me in the inquisitive gaze of a mind in constant exploration of everything about the world around him. The planets, the sky, the U.S. Presidents, catastrophic weather patterns, cultural celebrations, flags and cooking are just mild examples of your insatiable hunger for learning. As you put it best... you prefer "the nonfiction parts of life."
You continue to be a terrible liar, the messiest eater, most opinionated dresser with one of quickest to fire hot buttons of anyone I know. I think that Lucy May might walk the planet with one finger hovering over that hot button at all times. Buddy, you just never see it coming. That consistency, Gabriel, while a challenge at times...is just so beautifully and wonderfully you.
This year you have grown so much... in inches, in legos, in Minecraft expertise, in volume, in appetite, in tree climbing abilities. Your teeth to empty spaces ratio was alarmingly off for a good few weeks that it was a wonder you could eat at all. Luckily, you rarely chew your food anyway. Crisis averted. Way to plan ahead.
You continue to have the kindest of hearts, an empathetic ability to listen and an unbelievable magnetism for friendship. Those sisters of yours have hit gold and don't even have a clue. I can't wait to see their faces when they realize that not everyone's brother will sit and play barbies for hours on end (albeit with some crazy post-apocalyptic Gabe concocted themes) just to enjoy their company.
I wake up for the day and without a doubt am consistently inspired to see the world through a different view... all because of you... usually before I have even finished my morning coffee. All the "Did you know", "Can you believe...", "Isn't it neat...", "Well, actually..." that happens because of you is a gift that I will treasure for my always.
Happiest of birthdays, Gabriel. Here's to another beautiful trip around the sun.
Gabe's Seven! from Julie May on Vimeo.