(This was going to be one of those moments in my book, Snow Tiger In The Jungle. I originally wrote this in the fall of 2014.)
Before divorce, before debts, before mautam, before autism therapy and a diagnosis, there was a moment of pure bliss.
Ezra was lost again. When he was Lian’s age now, 3 and a half, he was always running. He had left my friend, Dawnga’s house near the top of Ramzotlang, (Mizoram, India) and ran down the mountain road. “He’s probably ran to the orphanage again” I was told. So off I ran after him.
When I got there, I went inside and asked if they had seen Zonunmawia. “Zonunmawia Pa, he’s with the babies in there.” I went to the baby room. They had all the little babies in one big crib, more like a big table with 4 inch sides. Ezra had crawled up on the table. He had the little babies all lined up, lying side by side. 3 babies under his outstretched left arm. 3 babies under his outstretched right arm. Ezra lying in the middle. Ezra didn’t just have the biggest, toothiest smile you could imagine, he had pure bliss. “Mawtea (Moi-Teh)” It was a pleasure beyond words to behold.
Ezra then rearranged the babies so that all 6 were lined up together and lied down beside all their heads. One baby head at his toes, the last one turning her head to stare into his eyes. He then started moving them around like Lego pieces into various geometric combinations. The whole time, not one of those babies cried. Their attention was transfixed on him, like the rest of us didn’t exist. He was conducting a baby orchestra.
You don’t really know anything about Ezra, unless you know he loves babies.