Since “Glass” left for MCRD, I thought it would be fitting to tell some of my best Ethan stories. Ethan was an interesting baby. He had eczema head to toe...tubes in his ears, casts on his feet, and shingles twice before he was a year old. He had to wear the casts for almost a year. They went from his toes almost up to his knees, and the orthopedist would change them every six weeks. He would lie in his crib and bash them against the bars of the crib until the plaster became soft and pliable.
He was annoyingly independent from a very young age. One early evening when the sun was still out, he asked if we could go to the park. He was three, and had just started preschool. I told him it was almost nighttime, and he said he would go play in his room. Not ten minutes later, there was a knock at the door. It was Miss Cindy, his preschool teacher. She had Ethan by the hand. She said she saw him playing by himself at the park. The park was only a couple of blocks away, but he had to cross a pretty big street to get there.
When Ethan was four, he was run over by a mini-van. It was noon, and Ethan was riding his Big Wheel out front. I was inside with Dillon, who was only two, and I had the front door open so I could hear Ethan playing. Being the middle of the day, there were only a handful of people home on the street. Suddenly I heard a scream and a screech. The scream was my neighbor, who had observed a mini-van backing over Ethan, and the screech was the mini-van stopping abruptly with a crunch. The lady who backed over him was in hysterics. She was a young mother of three little girls…a school teacher who came home for lunch to see her daughters. She was backing out of her driveway, and stopped to check her makeup in her rearview mirror. Ethan had stopped to wait for her to back out, but when she stopped, he thought that meant it was okay for him to go. So he did, and then she did…right on top of him and the Big Wheel.
Ethan was talking to us. I asked him if he was okay. He cheerfully replied, yup, I’m okay. He said he wasn’t hurt, but he was stuck and couldn’t come out. We couldn’t see him or touch him in any way, so the paramedics came within about five minutes to lift the van off of Ethan. I was not crying. Ethan told me he was fine, and I believed him. The mini-van driver kept telling me, “I killed your baby!” and was crying hysterically. They lifted up the van, and out Ethan came, without a single scratch, despite the fact that the big wheel was completely mangled beyond recognition, and Ethan had been tangled in it to the point that he was unable to move until they freed him. The paramedics could not believe it.
Ethan has disappeared on me many more times over the years, even up into junior high school, when once I almost called the police because he never came home from school for hours and hours. He had gone to a band concert for another school without telling me. He ended up doing that to me so many times that I actually got used to it. He was always so surprised to find I had worried. I was fine, mom.
I’m not gonna lie…there is part of me that is relieved that it is someone else’s turn to worry about where he is all the time.