I gave birth to my first baby nine years ago today. In the intervening years he has developed into a deep-thinker and a deep-feeler. He is my absent-minded professor and my philosopher-prince. Sometimes I get frustrated with him when he has a lost another pair of gloves or doesn't listen because he's lost somewhere in the ether. But when he returns and says things like, "If the aliens were smart, they would attack the earth now before we have the capacity to fight them off," or "If you die and you live alone, what happens to your stuff?" or "I think New Zealand should be its own continent," I fall in love with that amazing imaginative mind all over again.
Sometimes his feelings get him in trouble because the world isn't really set up for people who feel things as deeply as Ellis and he hasn't mastered the defense mechanism of hiding things inside that seems to be a requirement to make others feel comfortable. Sometimes those feelings are hard, like when things are "Unfair!" But mostly those feelings are reflected in an enormous capacity to love, like when he gently talks Charlie through not being scared in the shower or shows him a new game or fixes him breakfast even though Charlie can be really annoying and gets everything his way. I hope one day Charlie and Ellis's other younger siblings realize their luck in having such an excellent big brother.
The key to Ellis is taking time to build a relationship of trust and respect with him. The work will be rewarded with entrance into the magical world he spins and the giving heart he has. I delight in each passing year with him because it means we are getting closer to fulfilling our dream of traveling the world together (First destination: Japan - because he loves Nintendo and I love sushi), and because as that mind and heart grow in capacity I feel like knowing Ellis is a great adventure in and of itself.