In the days leading up to Elijah’s tenth birthday, I realized not all of his presents would arrive in time from Giant River Megacorp. I explained this to him and without looking up from his screen said, “I already saw everything in your cart.” Touché.
Eli’s official birthday extravaganza is next weekend, because most of his little pals would be otherwise engaged with Christ’s rebirth this weekend. So we kept yesterday fairly low key.
He chose Chili’s for his birthday lunch, despite my pointing out of every single other option on the walk over. I actually like Chili’s because it is so delightfully out of place in Evanston’s organic valley. They print the caloric count of each menu item just to see the look on our liberal faces.
Afterwards, we went to see the movie “Boss Baby.” In the weeks leading up to his birthday, Eli would gush about the commercials for the movie and I would say things like, “Over my dead body,” and, “This feels like a Schuyler outing.” The kids thought it was the greatest movie ever made and seemed genuinely disappointed that I didn’t like it. I extracted my best passive aggressive dad move, saying, “I’m just glad YOU liked it.”
The night ended with a trip to The Little Mexican Café. This restaurant holds the record for being Eli’s favorite and Luca’s least favorite place in the world. After several hours of threats, Luca sat quietly in front of his coagulating crispy tacos while Eli wolfed down quesadilla after quesadilla.
Diana asked Eli for his goals in year ten. What did he want to accomplish? What were his hopes? What here his dreams?
Mouth full of guacamole, he simply said, “I want to just live my life.”
I could never ask for a better wish for him. I want him to live his life. Without worry or pain or anxiety. I just want him to live his life. Whatever life he wants. I want him to live HIS life. Not the life I think he should live or not the life Evanston wants him to life. His life.
Eli followed up by saying he wanted to accomplish going to the ice cream shop after dinner.