Happy birthday Gabby!

Fourteen years ago, Gabrielle Cait was born at almost 9pm. After dithering around all day, she suddenly decided to make her entrance- so quickly that my doctor (who had gone home for dinner) wasn’t even there for the delivery. Also I did not get my epidural and yes I am still salty about that. Here are fourteen things to know about Gabby:

  1. She inherited my dad’s gift for nicknames and one-liners. Example: she knows a kid she calls “Taste the Rainbow” and another kid she calls “Sprinkles.” Then there’s “The Turnip” or, when referring to Dave, “Darth Ginger.” (Side note: considering my siblings and I recently nicknamed two people “Mumbles” and “The Dandy,” I shouldn’t be surprised that she does it too.)
  2. Her hair is a force unto itself- thick and curly and she loves it. A few weeks ago she wore it down for a dance competition, accidentally sucked in a big mouthful while dancing and had to stop and take it out before she choked. Actually happened.
  3. Gabby likes to write and to draw. We got her a sketchbook and charcoal for Christmas, and she frequently spends the late evenings either sketching something or writing something. Sometimes she shows me and sometimes she doesn’t.
  4. We have a garden every year, and Gabby participates in planning it out and also taking care of it. She has books on different kinds of herbs; her specialty is different kinds of tea for different health purposes.
  5. This year Gabby decided to join high school golf. She did it the way she does everything: she decided it looked interesting, and she plunged in headfirst.
  6. Her picture should be next to the word “self-confidence” in the dictionary.
  7. Even though she tends toward her mother’s school of “Feelings? What are those?” –Gabby is very sweet to her siblings and especially to Addie J. I frequently find little notes from Gabby to the J in her room: “Have a great day! I love you!” or a drawing of a fish; little things like that, for no reason.
  8. Gabby thinks she might want to become a forensic scientist. Or a psychologist. Or a veterinarian, as long as she doesn’t have to do surgery and “cut any animals up. I would feel terrible, Mom.”
  9. She is really intensely interested in all kinds of nature, from the herbs she researches and grows…. to the jar in her room that hold the bird skull she found outside. Which is next to the jar that holds all the teeth she had pulled last winter. It’s pretty grim on that dresser, to be honest.
  10. This kid competes at the second-highest level in Irish dance and is determined to reach Open Championships. I love to watch her dance- but I actually love to watch her perform at shows even more. Because when she’s performing and not competing, you can really see the joy she takes in dancing, and it makes her beautiful.
  11. She and I do the Color Run together every year. On the opposite end of the activity spectrum, she and I have been watching “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” for three summers now. We’re allllllmost to the end and I think her favorite part is all the 90s outfits.
  12. She took her first high school course this summer: a reading seminar course which is only open to students on the Honors track. I am so proud to say that Gabby earned a high A in that course.
  13. If she takes my razor out of the shower one more time and doesn’t return it, I will scream.
  14. She has been a force of nature her whole life, and she makes my life bigger and better and fuller. I am so lucky to be witnessing her world takeover, one day at a time. Love you, my Lishie. Happy birthday.

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