I was going to do a side-by-side of Eli as a tiny baby and now, but when he was born we didn't have a digital camera. THAT'S how long ago five years is. So instead, here are five pictures, all taken this month, that show the many sides of this crazy person I have had the incredible privilege of getting to watch turn into a truly amazing human being.
Kiddo, it drives me crazy, but I love that you are so sure of yourself and so confident that you have absolutely no problem throwing me attitude or saying exactly what's on your mind.
When you get an idea in your head, you don't let anything stop you. This water was probably 35 degrees, but you happily jumped right in so you could fish in the exact way you had imagined. And not one complaint. You would've stayed out there for hours had we let you.
There's something about you, something special. Something that there isn't quite a word for, but that makes people you meet take pause. The best way to describe it is how your teacher put it. "Eli's a kid that's going to change the world someday." You have a power, Kid. And I have to believe you know it. How else did you talk this guy into letting you climb all over his bike, and then be so happy about it that he took pictures? Kid, you stepped on the pipes. With both feet. When you're older you'll get what a big deal that was.
You are a crazy person in the best possible way. You still love to dress-up and look like (but not pretend to be. That's important. You're still Eli. Just in a costume.) superheroes, cowboys, ninjas, and occasionally Frankenstein. You would wear a costume everywhere if it was an option. I love that, and I will miss it so so very much. There's nothing quite like grocery shopping with Spiderman or hitting the movies with a ninja.
Happy Birthday Big Guy. I love you with all my heart and more than anyone else in the whole world. I hope you always remember what an awesome, unique, amazing person you are and that you are always oblivious to anyone who would dare say otherwise. I am so grateful that I get to live in your world. I can't wait to see what you're going to do.