On September 12, 1999 in Weiden, Germany Gabe was born! This year he turned 16 years old! Gabe has always been very sensitive and loving. From day 1 he always made his needs known 🙂 One of the things Gabe wanted to accomplish by his 16th birthday is to get a job. He interviewed with Chateau de Fleur and had a second interview scheduled for the day before his birthday… and guess what?
HE GOT HIRED!!
What an exciting way to kick off his 16th birthday weekend!
The question still remained…How do you celebrate a boy’s Sweet 16 birthday? We talked about a big party, with caterers, a D.J. and a really cool venue. We talked about taking a quick trip somewhere. There were lots of ideas. Gabe stresses about EVERYTHING! He couldn’t decide what he wanted to do. So, on the drive to school that day I asked him in 10 years what would be the coolest thing to say you did for your 16th birthday. Can you guess what he came up with?
Skydiving. Oh my. In the span of about 30 seconds my mind ran through many thoughts. Is it safe? Do “GOOD” moms let their kids go skydiving? I quickly realized that my main concern was that I actually wasn’t that concerned about it. So I said, ok… I will google about it today. “Awesome! Thanks mom!” Gabe said as he hopped out of the car.
The first thing I did when I got home was do a bit of research. After calling around and googling phrases like “16 year old skydiving in Idaho” I found out that there are only 2 places in the United States that will take adventure seekers under the age of 18 skydiving. One of them is located in Homedale, Idaho. So I booked it. When I picked Gabe up from school the first thing he asked me was if I found out about skydiving. I told him everything I had learned today. He was stoked. No.. STOKED!!
Of course, the first thing Ben and I were trying to figure out is how to capture this on video. We decided the best way to do this, was to have Ben go too! Gabe was really excited to share this experience with Ben.
The day of the jump we loaded up the car with 6 of our kids and headed to the airport in Homedale. Once we got there everything went pretty fast. Jumpsuits on. GoPro secure. Now… to get in the plane.
And off they went. Two of the men I love were about to jump out of a plane. That’s what I was thinking as they took off into the sky. Meanwhile back on the ground our friend Layne showed up with his super sweet girls to watch and help do some filming on the ground.
Everyone was listening for the plane, and looking for our boys falling from the sky. All of the sudden we saw 2 little dark spots falling from the sky. “There they are!” Everyone was excited and nervous watching them. Then we saw parachutes. I finally let out the breath I was holding.
Ben came down first. His parachute was red so it was pretty easy to see him. We could hear them yelling and “whoop whooping” with each other. The looks on their faces was amazing as they floated down to the ground.
And then they landed. It looked like it hurt. They slid in just like you do in baseball. Right next to the runway, they slowed to a stop with dirt flying behind them. And the emotion in their faces….
They were both overcome with emotion. What an adrenaline rush! They were both speechless. I imagine it’s a bit complicated to get your brain around what you just did, you know jumping out of an airplane and all….
The kids on the ground were really excited to see them land. They chased them as they got closer and closer to the ground. That 30 min waiting for them seemed like an eternity!
And… in our household no event goes un-interviewed! Gabe was so fired-up and excited about his accomplishment! It was really fun to see how proud he was of himself. The first thing they both said was “I want to go again. NOW!”
Alan from Skydive Extreme was amazing! He was so calm and chill before the jump. He told us he has taken all of his kids skydiving and was going to be taking his 80 year old grandma soon. He explained he was able to take Gabe because he chose not to be USPA certified. He rents most of his equipment from Skydown Skydiving. As a mom I felt 100% confident in trusting Alan with my son.
We drove home with excitement in the car… After Ben and Gabe talked incessantly about their morning, exhaustion set in! Once we got home we had a Barbecue with family. Gabe got to face time with Jon. It was fun to watch Gabe get to relive his experience, and to see Jon so proud of his little brother. It turned out to be a Sweet 16 to remember!
Check out Gabe’s Sweet 16 birthday video!