Lishie turns twelve.

"Mom, use this picture. People respect people who win trophies." -Gabby's life philosophy

“Mom, use this picture. People respect people who win trophies.” -Gabby’s life philosophy

Twelve years ago today, I was pregnant with my second child, gender unknown. All I knew about this child was that it was very active, and could not stand for me to eat anything except fresh produce and smoothies. And then, in the eighth hour of the eighth day of the eighth month, Gabby the Game Changer came barreling into the world– a few days earlier than we expected, and so suddenly that both the anethesiologist and my own obstetrician missed the birth (looking back, if I had to choose one to make it– I would have gone for the pain meds guy). She has continued to blaze her own trail and defy expectations ever since.

Gabby is an overwhelming force of nature. Her personality fills every room she enters, and I am ever amazed by her intelligence and her wit, by her motivation and her steadfast belief in herself. I can take no credit for any of this, by the way– it’s all Gabby. She starts junior high in a few weeks, and my goodness, does she have goals: she’s already accumulating service hours toward the National Junior Honor Society. Her life revolves around Irish dance, and she has been working steadily toward her lofty goals there as well– willingly giving up free time, and friend time, to dedicate herself to her goals. I’ll be honest: I wouldn’t bet against her.

For her birthday, she will go out for sushi with her beloved dad– their annual tradition. And she will attend a competition which she has every intention of winning. And she will continue to be that unique mix of crazy yet controlled; smart but silly; fiercely independent and still sweetly affectionate. I’m just thrilled to be in her orbit. Happy birthday, Gabs. Love you so much.

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