Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Love and Marriage

"Mama?" Ethan asked one evening as we were driving in the car. "When I grow up, me and Anna be Chloe's mom and dad, and every time she disobeys she will get in trouble."

I tried to explain that he was not going to become Chloe's dad, but he wasn't having any of that.

"Hon, Anna is going to marry a different man when she grows up; not her brother. And you can get married too, if you want," I told him.

"But if I get married, does that mean I have to leave my family?" His voice sounded panicked and scared.

"Well, when you grow up and if you get married, you start a new family," I said gently. "But your parents will always be your parents." He sat for a while with that, quiet in the back in the dark.

I wonder a lot about Ethan and relationships.

I can see him growing up and graduating high school, maybe college.

I can almost picture him learning to drive a car.

I can envision him finding some kind of job (preferably, I would think, one involving facts, numbers, computers, and predictable activity).

But can I envision him in a romantic relationship; married? I just don't know.

Not long ago, I would ask him about where he was going to live when he grew up. He said in a little house next door to us, where he would play video games. Sounds like most 30-year-olds these days.

Every once in awhile, I'd ask which he liked better, being with people or being alone. Nine times out of 10, he'd say alone. But that's starting to change. "I think I just slightly better like being with people," he told me not long ago.

Side note: One of his class vocabulary words awhile back was "solitude." Well, Ethan's always one to try valiantly to use his vocabulary words in everyday speech. Many nights when I ask him to get ready for bed, he complains, "No! I can't because then I will be all solitude upstairs." Our apparently scary upstairs at night is one place where Ethan definitely does NOT prefer to be alone.

Apparently, there's at least one little girl in Ethan's class who appears to be enamored with him. I heard through the grapevine that she spends a lot of time trying to get his attention. Ethan is completely oblivious. Well, I take that back. One day, he announced at breakfast that this certain girl was his "girlfriend."

"Really?" I asked, surprised.

"Yeah," he answered. "Because that's what my friends said at lunch."

Ethan doesn't have to get married, of course. He may very well be a person who, after all, really does prefer "to be solitude."

But who knows? I asked him, the other day, out of the blue, if he thought he'd get married someday.

"I don't know," he answered slowly. "Maybe."

"Maybe someday," I said all of the sudden, "you will find a nice woman just like you who loves power lines and storm drains." His eyes lit up. "I will?" he asked.

"Oh, she's out there," I said with all of my heart. "Ethan, she's out there."

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