At school, Elliot has a group of friends with whom he plays chase at recess. During this game, Elliot is a monkey--as in, he channels the powers of a monkey to help defeat his opponents. What are these special gifts? A monkey is "smart, well-skilled, and a free spirit," so says he. How do these apply to the real E? Yes, yes, and sort of. I would say he is less of a free spirit and more of a worrier. But we all agree he is a monkey.
In fact, there is another monkey that comes to mind when considering Elliot's unique gifts.
Elliot is curious. Let me illustrate.
Elliot spent his two weeks abroad this summer exploring an all-too-often overlooked aspect of the beautiful Spanish landscape: trash. He spent his days with eyes on the ground, looking for treasures to collect in his overflowing pockets. At the end of any given day, I would empty said pockets and discover treasures, indeed: broken luggage wheels, rocks, rocks, and more rocks, broken glass, spent subway tickets, business cards, sticks. He also enjoyed exploring the textures of Spain. He wanted to touch everything, running his hand along the length of every rail, acquiring smudges on his hands and shirt at every step along the way.
Elliot is also intellectually curious. His latest matter of inquiry is Harry Potter and he peppers us with questions. What is a goblet of fire? Who put the sorcerer's stone in that dungeon? How did Voldemort get into that teacher's body? Actually, I can't do his questions justice. They are much more advanced than that and leave me stumped most of the time.
He also relishes science and knows better than to ask me. To Steve: Let's talk about physical and chemical changes. Why does fire need to have air? What is the atomic theory? What is that called again when the sun's atoms go together to create gases? Can we watch Nova tonight?
Elliot is also like Curious George in that he can get into unusual predicaments. Like the time he cut right above his eye at 10 o'clock on a Saturday night. Or the time he had to get stitches in a hospital clinic in the Canary Islands after chasing the missionaries down the stairs. Or the time he ended up in the emergency room after swallowing a penny.
Come to think of it, the only times he ever gets into any kind of trouble are from instances of being ungraceful. Hmm. Not very much like a monkey, after all....