Ethan: the brother I never had. Or, more accurately, the brother I DO have, though we weren’t technically born of the same parents. Last night was the formal celebration of Ethan’s dad’s receiving of the French merit d’agricole. We had such a lovely time at the Fly Club drinking all kinds of absurd wine.
Ethan and I met when I was 3 weeks old and he was 7 weeks old. Apparently we hit it off and we’ve been dear friends ever since. He was in our wedding, he’s Whit’s godfather (at right on the christening day with last week’s bride, Gloria – in fact we were all classmates at Exeter), and he’s my oldest and dearest friend. “We were ring around the rosy children, we were circles around the sun” – James Taylor’s Never Die Young has always made me think of Ethan. 32 years of memories, impossible to even make a dent in them here. We were only in school together very briefly – for 6 months at BB&N in 7th grade and for 2 years at Exeter for 11th and 12th. At our Exeter graduation we had a picnic with all EIGHT of our grandparents in attendance – that’s on the short list. I have Ethan in mind a lot as I think about raising Whit -he’s the closest experience I’ve had of a boy growing up, but more importantly I think he’s peerless: he combines intelligence, sensitivity, humor, great compassion, and an incredible artistic passion. Ethan and Tyler’s lives have been intertwined with Hilary’s and mine from the beginning. When I watch Gracie with James and Charlie I think of the Vogts, and of the extraordinary gift of “family friends.”