The past weekend marked several firsts in Elijah’s life. We traveled as a family to the San Joaquin Valley, to the place where I grew up so that we could see my side of the family. What better season to expose Elijah to the Valley, but the summer? Fortunately we visited during an especially mild few days so he did not experience the oppressive heat and dust often found there from June through September. We also took the opportunity to travel to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. It was Elijah’s first time in the mountains, first trip to a National Park, and first time seeing the Giant Sequoias. Carey and I want Elijah to know and love these trees, which John Muir called, “the noblest of a noble race.” Elijah did not express awe that I think Muir would find sufficient, but we have time to foster that sense of wonder — the kid can only see a few feet. As a family we hiked down to the General Sherman Tree to show Elijah the largest living thing in the world and then we trekked along the Congress Trail where we saw a black bear cub.
Once we descended the mountain, we took Elijah swimming for the first time of his life. He seemed fairly ambivalent about the water. The kid’s skin is so fair — he burned once from an hour in the shade of a tree — we made sure very little of his skin was exposed.
We came home on Saturday because a colleague had given us tickets to Sunday’s interleague game between the Athletics and Giants. This was Elijah’s first Major League game and we decided to take BART, so it also marked Elijah’s first trip on public transportation. I tried to help him appreciate going to a game so young since I did not attend my first game until I was in the second grade. Many people around us were excited that it was his first baseball game. It was a great event — an A’s win after a solid pitching dual and a walk-off home run by rookie catcher Derek Norris.
This past week also brought a significant change in my professional life. On June 20, I resigned as pastor of mission and evangelism at South Bay Community Church. Once Carey and I adopted Elijah, we quickly realized that we wanted one of us to be at home with him. After prayer and conversations with wise counsel, we decided that I would be the at-home parent for the next season. How long of a season, we are not sure. We are excited for this next period and I am thankful that I have the opportunity to be at home with my son. This is not a career I had spent much time considering before Elijah came into our lives. The church was gracious to us. So many men at South Bay expressed that they were at home with their kids and said it was the some of the most meaningful times of their lives. I cannot wait to taste some of that same goodness.