On Not Being Everywhere

I went to work late Tuesday because Eli found me early in the morning and asked me to play outside with him. If I have a neglected child it is Eli, who is quiet, and who therefore rarely gets a word in edgewise between his older brother’s soliloquies and the shouting/squealing/caterwauling that his younger brothers believe passes for civilized discourse.

So we went outside, did a few chores, and then played basketball. He’s pretty good for a Woodlief, which isn’t saying much. Once he was up on me 7-2, I decided to turn on my “wet blanket” defense. It’s much easier to play the wet blanket when you have a two-foot height advantage over your opponent. That’s one of the reasons I like playing with Eli.

After one ferocious block (not really — he launches a shot and then I jump in the air and make Scottish-highlanders-taking-on-the-evil-British-interlopers battle noises as I swat it onto the grass, but I rarely hit it that hard because you would be surprised how much that plasticky pseudo-leather smarts when you slap it), I boasted: “I’m everywhere Eli!”

Eli retrieved the ball, and began dribbling. “No you’re not,” he said, cool as a cucumber. “Only God is everywhere.” By way of making his point he observed, “You’re not in Colorado.” He had me there. He scooted past me, befuddled as I was by his razor-sharp logic, and swooshed in a little Eli shot.

Later that morning, as I gave everyone a goodbye kiss, Eli crawled into my lap and broke down into bitter tears. He didn’t want me to go. He keeps a tight rein on himself, and when he lets all that love out I suppose he has trouble bottling it back up. One day, I promised him, my office will be in that barn out there. Then whenever you want to see me during the day you can just come on over for a visit. “When?” He asked. “I don’t know,” I admitted. “But one day soon.”


  1. Diane

    My heart just broke a little; I feel for both of you.

    May God grant you that opportunity to work at home swiftly.

  2. Bridge

    Reminds me of a conversation I had with my brother Jono, also known as the worlds’ nicest kid, when he was about 6. I was driving him somewhere in my new little Honda Civic (product of finally having a real job) and he piped up from the backseat – “Hey Bridge, this car isn’t yours, you know?” “How’s that?” “Everything belongs to God and that means your car.” True words. I still think about them when I’m driving along sometimes.

    Kids are the best.

  3. Carl Holmes

    Well, I am in Colorado. Maybe that is a connection, but I am not you, unless you are getting all exestential and wiered about it.

    I have called in… ahem “sick days” once or twice at the behest of my Son. One just can not resist the parental pull of a son wanting to spend time with dad. I am all to afraid one day it will turn into “dad, you are an embarassment, go gum your food somewhere else you old fogie”

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