Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Birthday Boy

Hey, hey birthday babe.

I have to say... twelve looks mighty handsome on you.

I won't pretend this year has been all things stellar. We are far too honest with each other to not acknowledge the squishy parts. Lots of big feelings and chalked full of change--- it was one for the books. The comforts of little-kid land in your rear-view found you confidentially chasing your American Idol. You had waited two whole years to share a school with her again and finally, the time had come. What you found in the new spaces, however, were crowded hallways filled with a lot of hormonally-charged, bigger bodies with all the opinions and far less kind words. The reality checks of middle school came at you like a wave and unfortunately, the salt left a sting. It has been challenging to see my self-assured, quirky kid come to doubt all the unique ways that he is beautiful. 

Some years are just like that. In the wise words of Dolly Parton, "Storms make trees take deeper roots." Uncomfortable and awkward in your body at times, but necessary to grow.

Every day I see glimpses of your confidence rebuilding. When you feel comfortable at home, it is like all the hard of the day melts away. The funny videos, late night jam sessions, sketches and hilarious quips never cease to make me laugh. You are beloved by friends and teachers alike, and my hope is that you feel it too. 

This year brought you some wonderful new loves too. Suddenly, your world is all things Topo Chico, hooded sweatshirts, skateboards, Anime and Notre Dame football. You have learned to play the guitar completely on your own. Often times, your strumming has become the peacefulness I look forward to as the day winds down. Dad has adored your growing love of all things football and having a buddy to toss the football with as the sun comes down. Thank goodness for that light up football. Man, it gets a lot of use.

I look back at the pictures that started this year and I hardly recognize that little kid. As Molly would say, you are on the brink of one lovely "glow up". Pretty soon we won't be reminding you to stand tall in your head... you will just stand taller... with your legs. You are the real dill to my pickle, Mr. May. I will forever be cheering on my big-hearted and curious kid. Here's to a year of so much more.

Happy birthday, Gabe. I sure do love you.

**music up!!**