We were driving home to Virginia but still in Eastern Oregon, probably west of John Day past Dayville, when Ezra came up with this great game. He would squint his eyes and look at his sister next to him, I think it was Evie, and say, "Can you see me?" She would answer yes. Then he would close his eyes. "Now can you see me?" The answer again was yes. Then he would squeeze his eyes as tightly shut as they could get and say with a higher-pitched, squeaky voice, "Now can you see me?"
I thought of this last night when another thunderstorm rolled through Gloucester. It was our third or fourth in the two weeks we've been home. Some real doozies, too. Ezra made sure all the doors in the house stayed shut to ensure we didn't let any thunder in. I think if he could, he would close his eyes and somehow disappear. The last thunderstorm we had scarred the poor little fellow. For good reason, come to find out. One of the lightning strikes touched down in the back of our neighbors' house across the street from us and three doors down. The tree it struck got an enema and had one of its roots blown out. Then the lightning traveled underground and obliterated a hard foam pad the air conditioner sits on and fried their television and microwave. We had the front door open when that strike hit and the thunderclap shook the house and sent Ezra scurrying for cover. Last night when we started hearing the first faint rumbles of thunder you could see him get that look in his eyes. I asked him if he heard the thunder. "Don't say thunder," he said. I guess he figured if we didn't talk about it then it didn't exist.