This is 9 year old Gage. Gage loves Darth Vader and Star Wars right now, nearly to the point of obsession. He participates in a program called Acts, Jr., which is a weekly drama group for kids of all abilities. They put on a play at the end of each semester, and this semester will be Gage's 4th play. This is right up Gage's alley. He also plays Braves baseball and wants to play football soon. When he grows up he wants to be a museum employee. He loves to hunt and killed his first 2 deer last year.
Gage wears braces to walk and has PT and OT twice a week. He's home schooled, and science is his favorite subject. Gage has had several surgeries, including shunt replacements, Chiari decompression and arachnoid cyst removal, and tendon release. These haven't slowed him down for long.
From very early on, it was obvious that Gage had personality to spare. He loves people and knows more people in town than his parents do. He rarely forgets a name or a face. I think he needs to be a speech language pathologist when he grows up, except that I'm not sure he'd stop talking for long enough for his clients to say anything. He's empathetic, and hates for anyone around him to be upset. He doesn't have a shy bone in his body. Recently, a couple of well-meaning strangers have asked about his braces or said they'd pray for him due to his disability. His usual, confident response is "Thanks, but these braces just help me walk better. I'm not hurt or anything." I did not coach that, but I love it.