Thursday, March 23, 2017

In Defiance of Reality

Five years ago, when Mandi was pregnant with her first child, my sister said she saw the unborn child. He came to her quickly- in a flash of a vision; he was about three years old and he had blond curly hair. She spoke unabashedly of the incident as if it was normal to see her niece's unborn child. There was no doubt or hesitation in her story.

Inwardly I scoffed. Never to my sister's face, as I wouldn't want to hurt her feelings--especially since she was so sure. But, we didn't yet know whether the child was a boy or a girl.

I scoffed in part because...well, people just don't see unborn children---and Mandi and her husband both had dark hair. Mandi had been born with dark brown hair, which I mistakenly called black until my dear Mexican friend corrected me. I often teased Mandi's husband because when he had a beard, he looked like a Bedouin from the Middle East. No way, would her child have blond, curly hair. No way.

Foremost, the question loomed: why would he appear to my sister? Why not me, his grandmother?

Ezra was born.

A light brown fuzz crowned his head. As he grew, it appeared to be turning red. Between the ages of two and three, his hair grew into curly, blond locks. He became the child my sister had seen.

Ezra was a sensitive and sometimes a temperamental child, and worst of all, he didn't bond with me. For a short, painful period, each time he saw me, he exclaimed, "What the?"

But all the while, my sister seemed to have a bond with him. She saw him less than me, but there was a connection. She loved him, shopped for him, face-timed just to see her little Ezra. When he misbehaved during his terrible twos, my sister understood; when grumpiness reigned during his tempestuous threes, my sister defended.

And then one day, during his fourth year, Ezra's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day ended. He became a delightful, funny, engaging child.

My sister exclaimed, "I knew he'd outgrow his horrible threes!"

"Of course you did! You saw him, and you knew his heart."

In that moment, I knew my sister had been telling the truth all along.