Lately, Eli has been calling Dan by three names: dada, papa and daddy. Dada is still the one that comes most naturally to him, but if he's been hanging out with his friend Eden, he will suddenly switch to papa, which is what she calls her dad. Daddy is very very new and is only used when he thinks long and hard about it. Either way, this little guy loves his dada and can't get enough of him. There is no doubt that Elijah loves me like crazy, but he treats Dan like a celebrity. In Eli's eyes, Dan can do no wrong. He is superman!
Most mornings, Dan is late running out the door to meet other seminary students in the park for car pool. This happens because he can't wake up with his alarm, but also because he and Eli get distracted with activities and games. Everything takes a few minutes longer to do because Eli is involved-making breakfast, grinding coffee, brushing teeth, etc. All of these thing are opportunities for Eli and Dan to have fun.
There is no telling what kind of silly games Dan and Eli will make up at 7am.
Three to four nights a week, Dan is home in time for dinner, evening play and Eli's bath. I am so thankful for these times together as a family, because I know of other families that have less. Even better, about every two to three weeks, we can spend an entire morning or sometimes day together as a family. These are truly a treat for both Eli and I.
Last week, we spent a morning at the Soulard farmer's market. After shopping for cheap and delicious produce, we grabbed pulled pork sandwiches from a vendor and had lunch at a nearby park. Elijah ran around while Dan and I caught up. There was a pond with ducks and swans, too. Eli kept asking the ducks to talk to him, but when they quacked, he got scared. The swans were beautiful though and we had fun teaching Eli all about them.
If you think about it, please pray for Dan. He feels weighed down and has a lot on his plate. Pray for our family as we go another five weeks with very little time together. I look forward to this summer and know that it will be a time of refreshment and reconnecting as a family, but right now, summer feels so far away. Still, I have no doubts about being here in St. Louis so Dan can go to seminary. Our schedule is unbalanced here, and we all just need to adapt. This too shall pass. There is a break coming soon and God will sustain us until then.