When we first moved to North Carolina, we joined a church with an active young adult Sunday School class. There were a number of couples in our class who had no children. Within a year, that had changed. We were the only couple without children. I noticed that our classmates talked about their children.
After a while, it seemed like all those parents could do was talk about their children. At one point I turned to Misty and said, “If and when we have kids, we’re not talking about them all the time.”
We do try to hold down our gushing about Eli to a minimum. In most conversations I barely mention him more than five or six times. Despite this, our friends who don’t have children still like us. What’s even more amazing is that so many of our local friends have adopted Eli. When our local friends come over on Tuesdays to watch Veronica Mars, they play with him and run him ragged. They ask after him. They even read this blog.
During supper on Tuesdays, Eli starts naming them. “You know who is coming over? Nanny is coming, and Jon is coming, and Tim is coming, and Rick is coming, and Jessica is coming, and…” Our night-time ritual involves me bathing him, then reading a story to him before putting him in his bed. After bath he now wanders into the living room. “I tell everybody good night.” When he doesn’t find all of his fans waiting for him, he says, “Nobody’s here!”
When we had Eli, we were afraid that we’d never see our friends again. I couldn’t blame them if they avoided us — who wants to listen to parents talk about their kids all of the time? Instead they’ve befriended Eli, and his life is all the richer for it. I know I haven’t said it enough, so I’ll say it here publically: thank you all for the roles you play in Eli’s life.