I know that in the wake of the birth of my youngest, thoughts tend to be focused in his direction, but I do still have daily reflections on my eldest, who is four years old and growing up at light speed. Yesterday when I dropped him off at school, I stayed for a while to watch him play with his friends. He’s got quite the cadre of pals, and he’s definitely right there as part of the pack. I can hear him declaring that he’s got a lightsaber, and watch him practice mock battles with his buddies. I am proud to say, Eli is always ‘the good guy’, even if he is infatuated with the dark side like his father before him. I think that both he and I like to rub up against the darker forces, in order to reinforce our inner will to do good. We have to understand what it is that we are striving to eradicate. He played for a bit with a large gaggle of boys until he spotted his real buddy, Camden, across the playground digging in the sand pit. He dropped everything he was doing, and shouted after his best buddy, who looked up and approached him for an embrace. The two then walked arm-in-arm to enter into other games, but making sure they were side by side. It’s really awesome to see Eli forming strong relationships, and I see a reflection of myself in him. Gregarious, and always willing to join in with a large party — always loving to meet new people (Eli is not the least bit shy — he’ll introduce himself to complete strangers in any setting), but he also has a place in his heart for those he deems as close friends, who trump all others. And of course, Daddy trumps them all (at least for now). I left the playground and got into my car with a smile on my face and a tear in my eye, knowing that I was watching history in the making, and witnessing the evolution of an amazing individual who’s going to continue to knock my socks off each and every day.