I do not mean this in a serious way. Actually it is a rather self-deprecating comment. During our 7 day adventure at Grampa's house there were a couple of mishaps. When Ethan decides to do something dangerous, it generally isn't in a small way, it's BIG!
So, as I was describing in the previous post about Black Bart Day, when I headed out with the big kids downtown, I left Peter, Aeron, Ethan and Grampa at home. Grampa was upstairs doing his thing. And, Peter had laid Aeron down for a nap and finally had coaxed Ethan into a RARE nap as well. When I left, my 3 family members were safe and sound and asleep. However, later when Peter came to join me downtown at the tail end of the festivities, he relayed Ethan's solo adventure.
Let me begin by saying that in no way do I hold Peter responsible. Things happen even with the most careful of parents. When Peter lays down with Ethan, he generally has Ethan in a close resemblance to a headlock. Not a tight one but a loose one, so that he can feel him wriggle and fidget. And, when Ethan wakes up, Peter can feel him wake up and get up as well. This time, Ethan must have wised up and been very slow with his movements.
One thing you have to understand about Ethan is that there is nothing quiet about Ethan. There is either loud or asleep. While he does understand the concept of quiet and loud, he does not understand how they apply to him and his voice modulation. As a result, at church during the sacramental portion he is loud, when the baby is napping and I whisper to him to be quiet, Ethan is loud and slams the doors. He is a whirling dervish.
Back to the story. Ethan quietly escaped from Peter's embrace and decided to go outside. I have a feeling he was looking for me. I don't know whether he wandered upstairs where my Grandpa was, but nonetheless, he got out of the house. Let me add that my Grandpa has an alarm system where when you open a door you hear a beep beep. My Grandpa can't hear it. And Peter wasn't conscious of it either being that he was asleep. So off Ethan went. I don't know how long he was wandering or what he was doing. What I do know is that a friend of mine, Darcie Busi, from my high school days found him wandering off the busy Sutter Creek-Ione Rd. Thank Heavens for her!
That road is about 2 1/2 blocks downhill from my Grandpa's house. I don't know how far up or down the road he was. I can't really get many answers from him. But, when Darcie found him she asked him what his name was. He replied, but she couldn't understand it. Then she asked him who his parents are. He responded, "Peter and Bonnie Gale." She immediately recognized the name and the police officer who was called was given directions to Grandpa's house. I am grateful for all the caring people involved. I am grateful for Ethan's safe return.
Peter didn't wake up until the police officer rang the downstairs doorbell. He was in a state of shock when he realized what had happened. The police officer described what had happened and then Peter explained that we had just arrived there that morning. That Ethan is autistic and rides the short bus and is in a special ed program. The officer was very understanding. Ethan was very remorseful. He repeatedly kept saying, "I'm sorry."
In fact, the funniest thing he said was later in the afternoon. He looked at me and with his little gestures he makes, said, "I'm not going to get gone again." I had to smile and I told him I'm glad. I told him I like him here in our family and that we love him very much and that he has to tell us when he wants to go somewhere.
I pray this is a lesson Ethan has learned. I don't know if or how long it will stick. I am grateful he wasn't harmed. We love Ethan so much. We also feel a great deal of frustration with him sometimes because he is so head-strong and determined. There are people who say, "Why can't you control your child?" They never had a child like Ethan or a child with disabilities. Sometimes we just have to work with them. That is my everyday task. My house is generally a mess, not a little cluttered, but a BIG mess. I hardly have to time organize and put away because Ethan requires constant supervision. Someday, the dirty handprints will be gone, he will be a more functional little person, and I will have a more orderly house. But, that day is certainly not now! The scripture says there is a time and season to everything. It's not my season to be the queen of clean and order right now.