Thursday, October 25, 2007


Having children teaches you a lot of things. That's a stupid thing to say, but it does. I've learned how to remove crusty boogers with one finger and a lick (on my finger, not the boogers). I've learned that macaroni and cheese is the greatest meal ever created. I've learned all sorts of trivial stuff. I just loaded a bunch of pictures onto my computer from our camera and, as I looked over them, I started thinking about how having Eli has changed my understanding of the importance of family. Some of ours is close, some of ours is far away, some of ours is "family" that we're not actually related to. There's a lot of family that Eli will never know. Like the great-great-grandfather he's named after or all but one great-grandparent on his mom's side of the family.
Both Eli's first and middle names are family names. His first name, Eli, comes from his great-great-grandfather Eli Aebig, his fathers, mothers, fathers, father. His middle name, Traxler, is his mother's maiden name. The Traxler name may or may not be carried on to the next generation, but we wanted Eli to know that he's an Aebig and a Petersen, a Traxler and a Smit and all those other last names that came from the generations before.
The first picture will mean more to some of you reading this than to others. We've got pictures in our living room of Eli's dad sitting in that chair when he was a small boy and of Eli's great-grandpa sitting in it as a baby as well.
The second picture was taken this past weekend as Eli helped his dad "fix" things, something that seems to be very familial - Dad's teaching there sons. Eli's tongue is sticking out to the side just like his mothers and his grandpa Traxler's do when they're concentrating on something.
I personally think Eli's got a pretty swell family to grow up knowing.

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