1. Wavy hair. Horribly, horribly wavy. There’s a reason I never let it air-dry.
2. Introversion. Nothing beats a nice, quiet evening at home.
3. A caffeine addiction. I have an early memory of telling my father that I would drink coffee (like him!) when I grew up to be a boy (like him!). I did not grow up to be a boy, nor do I wish to swap genders, but I am definitely a coffee drinker.
4. A terrible, terrible sense of humor. Dad jokes abounded in the Eldred household. Just ask me sometime about Rudolf, the Russian climatologist, or the inventor Donald Zurley and his deep-sea diving friend José.
5. A love of popcorn. Popcorn Fests, involving 2-3 movies and lots and lots of popcorn, were the best holidays ever.
6. General nerdiness. I’ve only just begun to realize how nerdy my father really is. He apparently did original punch-card programming and could read binary code to trouble-shoot. I think the longest e-mail I’ve ever gotten from him came after I sent him a link to an article about the anniversary of BASIC and he sent me several paragraphs waxing nostalgic about the good old days of programming.
7. The joy of make-believe. I never believed in Santa; my parents’ philosophy was that they wanted us to believe them when they said Jesus was real. But we still pretended he was real, and to this day, I still leave out a plate of cookies for Santa (and a milk bone for his reindog). Mom rolls her eyes, but Dad and I have fun with it.
8. Quiet, faithful service. As a toddler, I found my faith in my church’s sound room, where Dad was running tech. Both my parents were very active; Mom often had more visible positions (like worship team), while Dad served as a sound tech, a deacon, and on very rare occasions, an adult Sunday School teacher. I’ve done solos at churches, led worship team at Intervarsity, helped lead Vacation Bible School, and many more…but the first position I volunteered for at my current church, less than two months in, was as the presentation tech (aka, the powerpoint person).
9. The love of God. This is really both my parents…but both of them love God and still show it through faithful service and prayer and regular reading of the Word. After dinner, from when I was 5 to 15 or so, we had a family tradition: page, then chapter. “Chapter” was Mom reading from some novel; we read The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings and the James Herriot books and about a billion other books I can’t remember. But before that, Dad read a page from a devotional. It was short. It certainly was never as exciting as whatever book Mom was reading to us. But it was a constant reminder that God was to be at the center.