It's my brother Gifford's 17th birthday today!  Here are 10 cool things about Gifford:

1.  He is named after John Gifford, the pastor of John Bunyan, who wrote my dad's favorite book, "The Pilgrim's Progress."

2.  He never exercises, but is still ripped (So maybe I should class this under "unfair" rather than "cool").

3.  He has a stunning, pitch-perfect singing voice when he doesn't think anyone is listening.

4.  He loves the Beatles, and I love that he loves the Beatles because I love the Beatles, too, and I love knowing that we love something in common!  

5.  When Gifford was about that size ^ he loved taking baths.  We "big" kids would "help" mom by giving Gifford his bath...but he always refused to get out.  Finally it occurred to us that if kid #1 distracted him for a moment, kid #2 could snatch him out of the tub and hand him over to kid #3, who would be ready with a towel.  In retrospect, we took "distract" a little to far; we completely stunned him into immobility by throwing a bucket of ice water over him.  While his little body sat frozen in shock, we plucked him out of the tub.  For some reason, Gifford doesn't hold this against us...Thanks, buddy -- I hope we didn't do permanent damage to your neurological system!

The Duck Face
6.  He can do Grandpa's legendary "Duck Face."  Only 2 other descendants of Grandpa John G. Marvin have inherited this ability.

7.  He has a classic sense of style.  

8.  He also has a very not-classic sense of style, but somehow pulls that off, too.

9.  Gifford is most definitely a creator; he imagines a million and one extraordinary things every day, and we are lucky enough to see some of them manifested on paper or in the form of a wood carving.  He's already used these skills to serve our family through various carpentry projects that made my parents' house more accessible for dad's wheelchair.  I can't wait to see where his keen hand at shape, color, and craft take him. 

10.  Beneath all the silly voices, jokes, video games, and other shenanigans that are Gifford's trademarks, there is a mind busy with deep thought and a heart that brims with moments of surprising tenderness.  I see it when he looks after the little kids at church with care and patience; I see it when he helps fasten my dad's wheelchair into the van; I see it when he makes cards and gifts by hand for his friends and family.  I think he's going to turn out just fine.  Happy birthday, Gifford!


CFHeidel said…
Gin, I needed this - Thanks.

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