(Okay. I'm going to blather now...)
Sometimes it's hard to believe he wasn't here with us in the beginning!
This is our first boy in the family, who turned out to look alot like the way
I pictured he would. Resembles his mom's side but acts like his dad. He certainly
is a social creature, and thus being the "people person" that he is, loves people.
Sometimes I wish I had that gift. I wonder how does he do it...
Once I saw him tumbling down the stairs in his creeper. I told him to stay away from the stairs.
I don't know what part of my advice couldn't get through that 10-month-old thick (thank God!) skull of his.
Over a number of early years, Eli & Taylor developed a summertime routine of jumping on the trampoline
and making up stories as they jumped. A sort of chatauqua. I tried to witness it personally, but I was always
dismissed whenever I tried to listen in. It was a private affair, just between the two of them.
Another thing Eli really loves, besides video-gaming and all the usual stuff that boys like, is snowboarding. That is a gift from his uncle Dan & from his mother. He has become quite good at this leisure activity.
For a time, Eli was a chess maniac. He loved to play a match with you. He'd probably win, the little rat. Then,
the X-Box emerged. During leisure time, this is a common focal point for his generation. His physical activity,
above all the others, is dominated by wrestling. Starting in Junior High, he has consistently sought the self-
reliance and intimate struggle of this sport. He has a natural athletic ability, and he works hard to improve it.
When there was no wrestling or football practice, he would shoulder a pack full of hardware and
go climbing. It's good to have young people in the cadre. Even my fellow, old-fart regular climbing
partners agree. We call Eli's kind rope guns.
After graduation from East High School, Eli decided to move to Mesa, Arizona with
a few of his buddies. They lived in a one-bedroom apartment for about a year. His friends were
pursuing technical certificates. Eli worked fulltime during this period. We didn't know that he
was in contact with military recruiters... he was deciding between joining the Marines or the Navy.
He left for boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois on December 9th. This was his
second Christmas away from the family. We were invited to graduation at Recruit Training Command
Great Lakes for the big day on the 6th of February, 2015. He could only invite three of us, and the
rest of the family watched the live feed online that crisp, clear morning. He should be proud of himself.