I 'heart' February. You know why? It's the birthday month for a lot of my favorite people. Now, I enjoy my own birthday month (many of you know this since I bring it up a LOT) but I enjoy celebrating other people's months just as much.
10 years and 3 weeks ago, I went on a volunteer trip to Oaxaca, Mexico with a group of college kids. It was there that I met a lot of amazing kids - so many that it changed the entire course of my life - and one of them was an 11 going on 12-year-old girl named Gabriela.
A lot of you have met Gaby, and even more of you have heard about her - so let me just fill you in on why we should all want to be like Gaby when we grow up.
First of all, I don't think there's a less stressed person on the planet. Gaby could calm a hurricane or something else equally as crazy. In a children's home with tons and tons of kids - Gaby has always been a calm presence, even as a young girl. In fact, when most people met Gaby as a teenager, they thought she was mature enough to run the place! This is not to say that she doesn't work hard, and doesn't have any reason to have stress in her life. She is now a full time college student and still works many hours each week doing all the bookkeeping for Simply Smiles. And yet, never a freakout, just calm, easy-going, Gaby.
Second - Gaby is always thoughtful. She constantly puts others before herself, and thinks of how she can make herself, other people, and the world better. She doesn't miss birthdays, anniversaries, her bus, whatever - somehow she manages to keep everything straight. Wise beyond her years, Gaby thinks before she speaks and always has a kind word or profound thought to share, regardless of the situation.
Being calm and thoughtful, must do something to keep Gaby constantly prepared, and therefore confident. I have never seen this girl scared. Coming to a new country, going through customs the first time, learning a third language, registering for college classes - none of these got a rise out of her. How is that possible?
Lastly, I've never heard Gaby say a mean thing about anyone. I have never seen her pass judgement on another person, even when the scales are tipped pretty far a certain way. For some reason, Gaby has been given the gift of always being able to understand, or at least try to understand, where other people are coming from. I think it comes from her strong connection to her super awesome family. We can all learn a lot from that.
So...with Gaby's official 'passport birthday' being tomorrow - I just wanted to make sure that everyone knows just how great she is!
Happy Birthday, Gaby!! Kristen