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Cool Kid

Gabriel Heuer

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03/01/2010 - by Sherri Roberts

Most adults wish they could bottle and market a fraction of the boundless energy that children possess. That is the feeling I got when I talked to eight-year-old Gabriel Heuer about all of his activities. He plays football, basketball, and baseball. He bikes and hip-hops. He swims and sleds. He zooms down the street on his electric scooter and sometimes he even rides a motorcycle with Papa Lee! In fact, Gabe keeps all of his grandparents busy because he likes to spend time with them so much.

Maybe Gabriel's energy just runs in the family. He and his sister, six-year-old Mariah, like to play "Survivor" together in the back yard and build things with the cushions on the couch. When he's with his dad, Brent, Gabe goes fishing and plays sports. He and his mom, Kathy, play games and rides bikes together. The whole Heuer bunch is currently remodeling their basement and Gabriel has been working hard to help tear down the sheetrock and do clean-up.

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But, believe it or not, none of these activities is what Gabe likes to do best. His favorite thing to do is bury himself in books! Currently his favorite pieces to unravel are the Bible and the Chronicles of Narnia books. He considers reading his gift and says, "God gave me the talent." He puts this talent to good use, reading to Mariah at home and at school. He also wants to use his love of reading to study to be a "doctor that replaces things."

Even with all of his activities, Gabe has time to volunteer at his school, Bar Nunn Elementary, every day. He helps his teachers before and after school with things like tidying and sorting math manipulatives. Then he goes to his mom's speech therapy room in the same building and cleans for her too!

Gabe's heart of service has not gone unnoticed by his peers. I asked some of his friends why they liked Gabriel so much and one boy said, "Because he's nice, he shares, and when it's time to clean up he doesn't just go home and leave me with the mess." Another boy quipped, "I liked Gabe because he's good and never gets in trouble."

I had the pleasure of talking to Gabe's teacher, Ms. Galles, who said his friends are right and that Gabe is a kind, gentle person. "I like to uphold him as an example for others," she said. "He always follows the rules and he is a great example of what every teacher wants in a student."

And what does Gabe think of his teacher? "Ms. Galles has a pretty good sense of humor for someone in their fifties!"

Maybe the secret to the fountain of youth is staying active, being studious and responsible, and serving others with kindness. It looks like Gabe could be a great example for all of us!

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