Something About Ezra

Biking in South Beach Miami

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

One of the many blessings that happened from the Little Red School House was that Noah was always surrounded by friends. Some came for the school year then drifted out of our lives, others are still friends to this day 13 years later.

Ezra and his family came into our lives from Virginia Beach. His family came up to help with a church plant we were involved in. Since Ezra and his brother Titus were about Noah’s age and homeschooled, I extended an invitation for the boys to become part of our class.

Right away Ezra became Noah’s guard. Noah was a runner. When he was little he would escape the securest of settings. We had to install keyed locks on all our doors, and if he went to any event, he would have to have a sibling or friend on Noah duty.

Noah was 4 and Ezra was 3 so most interactions were short play dates or co-op classes on Thursdays. But as the boys began to mature, sleepovers and weekends with our family became the norm.

One day Ezra told us he was moving to Oklahoma. His father had been offered a pastoral position at a church in the area, and the family was moving. We were heartbroken! We knew that long distance friendships were hard and at such a young age, it would be almost impossible to keep the boys close.

Noah talked about Ezra daily often. Little did we know that hundreds of miles away, Ezra was doing the same thing! Ezra’s middle name is David and Noah’s is Jonathon and just like in the Bible, this friendship was destined to be for life!

My incentive to get Noah to read, was a trip to visit Ezra in Oklahoma. Everyday he would struggle with phonics and sight words, knowing if he accomplished his goal, he would get to see his friend. Months went by with little progress.

One day there was talk of the family moving back to Delaware! Could it be? Even if Ezra was somewhere in the state, that was better than half way across the county!

It turned out that Ezra moved a mere seven minutes from our farm! Reunited and it feels so good …The boys picked up their friendship as if no time had passed. They were inseparable. Ezra came everywhere with us. He knew all of our extended family and friends. I knew his likes and dislikes. When I’d do my grocery order, I’d always include Ezra’s favorites.

Trips to Miami, our beach house, birthdays, Longwood…you name it Ezra was there. He has prayed for Noah through countless hospital stays, and often modeled correct ways to handle chick buffets!

As the boys reached high school, their friendship looks completely different than it did years ago. We don’t see Ezra as often, but when we do, the visits are filled with laughter and inside jokes. For years, Ezra would go with mom, Noah and I to the beach house. we would refer to it as The Office. Soon a group chat titled the office was started between all of us. Touchdowns were shared, dates and times of games given, invitations extended.

Our last big visit with Ezra included a family dinner where Noah was presented a harmonica ( thanks Mom) soon the boys had set up stools, and were holding coat hangers (for microphones) in their toes while singing!

The Office

Minecraft camp, fishing at The Point, the infamous Jitters, Wawa run ….I could write a book filled with the boys capers. This brother from another mother will always hold a special place in our families lives. Not only did he help Noah grow up to be the amazing sixteen year old he is today, he completed our family! Ezra means helper and help he does!

The Plan

The original blueprint of the ‘plan’

As Noah got older and stronger his imagination grew too! He was constantly exploring with his preschool buddies. They would make forts in the woods and zip line to the ground. I know of three such hideaways on the property, but there could be a dozen more. A rusty chandelier would suddenly disappear, as would a plastic chair, cutlery and of course food. He and his best friend Ezra would create real life Minecraft structures with wood, bricks, shovels and pickaxes.

One day all the older kids had plans. Zoe and Malia were at swim practice and Marley was at the golf course. it would be a perfect time to take a hot bath and relax. I set Noah up with Backyardigan’s, a snack and a drink. I told him I’d leave the bathroom door cracked and to come get me if he needed me.

Things were peaceful…quiet…too quiet? Noah? In he strolled with a satisfied look on his face. He stood beside the bubble filled tub and started smoothing my hair back. “Are you o.k.?” I asked. He told me he was very sorry, that he loved me and would see me soon. Then he turned and walked out, back to his show. Hmmmmmm, not good, not good at all. I quickly dried myself off and got dressed. I peeked around the corner of my door, Noah was happily eating his popcorn laughing at his show.

I guess I was being paranoid. I walked into the kitchen and slipped on …oil? There was a whole bottle of cooking oil poured all over the floor! String, what? There was string tied around the legs of the chairs criss crossed over the walkway. Forks, this is really crazy! On the other side of the string lay a dozen forks with their tines pointed upwards. What in the world?

Nooooaaaahhhhh!! What is going on? In comes my little towhead with a mischievous smile on his face. “You fell into my plan,” he said. “Plan, what plan?” I asked. He then brought a rudimentary drawing out and showed me how I was supposed to slip on the oil, hit the string and land on the forks! Are you kidding me? I was in the bath for ten minutes! How in the world was this little booger able to draw his plans, execute them and come in and console me for what was about to happen all in ten minutes!?

Right at that moment my friend Wanda called. I told her exactly what happened and what I was looking at. Her reply,…”I don’t know whether to be thrilled or very, very worried!”

For weeks our kitchen floor had a sheen that would not go away. Noah’s master plan was retold far and wide. For weeks I slept with one eye opened wondering if I’d get my little angel or the devil in disguise?