Tonight I had read a bedtime story to Gabe, Eli and Ezra and said prayers with them and was downstairs in my "office" studying Matthew 13. I can hear them talking up there from my "office" and caught wind of a conversation they were having with Claire. Then, inevitably, someone asked her for an apple so she headed downstairs. I asked her what was going on up there and it was something about Brenton not being someone's brother. So I headed up to investigate. As expected, Ezra was at the center of this conversation. I walked in and asked the boys what they were talking about. It turns out, Ezra doesn't think Brenton is his brother. I asked Ezra if this was true. He nodded. I asked why. "Because he doesn't come home," Ezra said. "So he's not my brother." I asked Gabe and Eli if they thought Brenton was their brother. They said he was. And is. Gabe tried to explain to Ezra that even if Brenton isn't here, he's still his brother just like Brenton is still my son even though he's not here. Ezra would have none of it.
"He's not my brother," he said. I believe he even gave a nice harrumph for effect. I asked him if he thought Taylor was his brother. Ezra nodded. Apparently Taylor hasn't been gone long enough -- he left in the middle of September and is coming home for 3 weeks on December 17 -- for Ezra not to consider unbrothering him. That's a good thing. I tried to explain to Ezra that Brenton is his brother regardless of where he is, but I might as well have been trying to explain the nuances of brush strokes in impressionist paintings. I tell you. When Ezra gets his mind set on something, he's hard to budge. Brenton is due to come home the day after Christmas and will spend about 10 days with us before he heads back to Corvallis. Hopefully he'll get some good bonding time in with Ezra and become Ezra's brother again. Ezra and I talked this over for a while but everything I was saying seemed to fall on deaf ears. Finally I asked him if he would go to the airport with us to pick up Brenton. He shook his head no. I asked Gabe and Eli if they would go to the airport with us to pick up Brenton. They seemed excited about it. So I asked Ezra again if he would go with us. "He has to," Gabe said. "Everyone is going." I wanted Ezra to answer the question, so I asked again. Slowly Ezra nodded. I told him that would make Brenton happy. Maybe Ezra is coming around. Maybe his two older brothers, the wise sages in that room, will be able to convince Ezra that Brenton is his brother. Maybe Ezra will just sleep it off and wake up talking about his brother Brenton. I think Ezra just misses Brenton and doesn't know how to handle it. Hey Ezra, it's okay. We all miss Brenton.