Friday, December 23, 2016

Lead Me, Guide Me, Walk Beside Me - a blog post revisited

Christmas is approaching, in fact it is right around the corner. Yesterday Baby and I ran out to grab some last minute treats, and we drove by Target. Like every year, I am reminded about the incident that occurred in the chip aisle. We refer to it as the Target Meltdown. But it isn't so much the meltdown that has been the focal point of our memories but of the experience that happened afterward. And so, to commemorate, allow me to revisit the original post.

Enjoy! and Merry Christmas!

Previously posted from 2012...

I’ve said it before; life with a special needs child is like an E-ticket ride on a roller coaster, filled with thrilling, unusual, and sometimes expensive, ups and downs. The amusement park that houses this E-ticket contrivance is picturesquely located at Wits End, nestled precariously on a cliff overlooking a jagged rocky coastline of eddies, riptides, and whirlpools. The damp air, which is whipped to frenzy by the blustering coastal winds, can leave one soaked, and chilled to the bone. The briny air, thick with salt, masks the burning sensation in your the eyes caused by myriads of tears. Depending on one’s perspective, the landscape, though fluctuating is by far the most stunning ever laid eyes on. 

Shortly after our Target meltdown, Ethan began watching Saturday’s Warrior. He has loved this movie for years, and often reenacts the closing scene where Jimmy Flinders stands alone and slowly raises his sword skyward, determined on his knight’s errand to stand against the ever-darkening world. It is a great play, now a movie, and our family has loved the soundtrack since it first appeared on stage in the mid 70’s. 

I took a moment to look over his shoulder as he was watching the various video clips of it on YouTube. As he got to a particular clip I suddenly realized what I had seen at Target. As I’ve said before, most everything Ethan does or says can be traced back to some clip or sound bite from a movie or television show he has seen. Some how in his mind he believes the emotions he is feeling can best be expressed through the particular words or actions from the scene he has chosen. 

As he watched the movie, I observed, over his shoulder. BAM! There it was, right before me. The feeling Ethan was trying to express:


video

Ethan's meltdown at Target...


No pressure dad, I simply wanted to let you know that by making me wait to set up the Christmas tree I have linked those emotions to the same emotions I would express if my favorite sister, a twin no doubt, had just died, and was now in Heaven with my little sister!
Yikes! 

Two weeks later, as I sat at the computer finishing up some homework, Ethan came in and suddenly announced, 

     “Dad, I don’t want to die!” 


           “I’m sorry, what?”


     “I don’t want to be in the grass, and get dirty. I don’t want to die like Brigham.” 


           “What brought this on? Come here; sit on my knee… Why are you worried about dying?” 


     “Dad, I don’t want to go to heaven. That’s because, because I’ll get dirty being in the grass.” 

He then pointed to the computer, wanting me to search something on the Internet. I opened a new page in Google and pushed the keyboard towards him. He began to type search several words, some he knew how to spell and others he did not. Once he typed what he wanted he clicked the search button, then clicked on Images.

I was struck by what he was searching for. He was searching for images of spirit body or bodies in HeavenHe even Googled his little brother Brigham's name to see if the Internet had a picture of him in Heaven.

Unsatisfied by the images he found, my wife, who had joined us, took down our picture of Brigham, taken at the hospital, and showed it to him. Ethan sat with her for a minute on the edge of the bed staring at the picture. When the minute was done, he stood up, and walked out of the room.

I'm not sure if we answered his question, or if he was simply satisfied because in the picture, Brigham, who was dead, was not dirty from "being in the grass." Either way we never heard another word from him about it.

That following Sunday, while I was attending another ward sacrament meeting, the congregation began to sing an very traditional LDS hymn, I Am A Child of God

I have sung this song no less than a thousand times. 

I knew this song.

I was mistaken!

As we sang, I was reminded of my experience with Ethan. When we began the second verse, suddenly my mind opened up to a simple idea, and the words began to sound in my head, in parts: Mine and Ethan's. Ethan's part was sung to me, while my part (italicized) was sung as a prayer:

I am a child of God, 
And so my needs are great; 

        Help me to understand his words, 
        Before it grows too late. 

Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way. 

      Teach me all that I must do
      To live with him someday. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Joy, Mockingbirds, and Spiritual Survival...

I was sitting in church this past Sunday participating in a lesson being taught on “Joy and Spiritual Survival.” Nearly two months ago I had heard that very talk delivered live by President Russell M Nelson at our General Conference, and three weeks ago I read the talk, twice in fact, in preparation for the talk (basically a sermon, of sorts) I was asked to deliver to one of our congregations. But in none of my previous listening or reading did I grasp this simple lesson until Sunday.

Joy, is a principle of power, just as faith is a principle of power. As we search for, strive to obtain, and attempt to live a life of joy, the very act of our focusing on joy brings God’s power into our lives. That thought never made much sense to me until this weekend while contemplating a series of incidents that have occurred in our home over the past few weeks. In his address President Nelson taught,
When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation...and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in our lives. Joy comes from and because of Him. He is the source of all joy...
As in all things, Jesus Christ is our ultimate exemplar, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.” Think of that! In order for Him to endure the most excruciating experience ever endured on earth, our Savior focused on joy!
And what was the joy that was set before Him? Surely it included the joy of cleansing, healing, and strengthening us; the joy of paying for the sins of all who would repent; the joy of making it possible for you and me to return home—clean and worthy—to live with our Heavenly Parents and families.
If we focus on the joy that will come to us, or to those we love, what can we endure that presently seems overwhelming, painful, scary, unfair, or simply impossible?
To that last list I would add, unpleasant, embarrassing, and frustrating, but that list could go on.

So, to what extreme can we bear? To what end can we endure?

EMBARRASSING / PAINFUL

Miss Maudie, Atticus Finch's across-the-street-neighbor, reminded us that "some men in this world...were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us." "Sometimes," Atticus said, "we have to make the best of things," and this is no more evident than how "we conduct ourselves when the chips are down." After all, "The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."

Such was my experience last week. Earlier in November Ethan and his day program took a field trip to the Phoenix Police Museum. While there Ethan spotted his grandfather's name on a display. He pointed it out to the DTA staff, who were pleasantly surprised to find out the Ethan's grandpa was a former Executive Assistant Police Chief. The tour continued under the watchful (yes, I'm being facetious) care of the three adult DTA staff. At some point during their tour Ethan came upon a display which had a small basket of engraved pocket knives set out for sale. Looking them over, he couldn't help but think how wonderful they were, and decided to pocket a pocket knife from the display stand. A few days later, his little sister observed him hiding something under his shirt, and upon further checking discovered that Ethan had stolen the pocket knife.


The knife was turned over to my wife, who gave it to me, and last Wednesday I walked into the museum to return it. I went as Dad, not a fellow police officer. So, when I walked in and recognized the retired officer at the counter, I approached and simply waited for him to recognize me. If he did, he did. But I wasn't there to ask for favors, or to have him look the other way simply because he knew me, or worse yet, because we were both police officers. Embarrassing enough as it was, I was there to help my son right a wrong.

I stepped to the counter, offered the simple, yet detailed story about what happened, and pulled the knife out of my shirt pocket. By this time, at least two other employees had heard my story and gathered around. The retired officer at the counter looked at me with a bit of bewilderment, then asked, "Is he okay?" "Yes," I explained, he hadn't cut himself, we just needed to return the knife, and I offered an apology. "Is it possible he bought it, I think we keep those behind the counter?" "No, he didn't buy it," I said, "the staff would have had to pay for it, and we hadn't sent any money with him." "Maybe you can reward him for being honest about it," he said. "He didn't tell us," I replied, "until we caught him." "Oh," the officer struggled to find some other alternative. It was no use, my son had stolen from my police museum, and here I was for all to see, revealing our sin, and trying to make restitution.

FRUSTRATION

By Saturday, we had moved on. I was sitting on the couch watching some football when I heard my wife gasp, with a startled, "What are you doing?" "I-don't-know," he said, as if it was one word. I quickly got up and walked down the hall to Ethan's room. As I approached I could hear my wife ask several more times, "What are you doing?" to each question Ethan had one response, "I-don't-know." As I entered the room I saw clearly what the problem was. Ethan had taken a very large, nicely bound volume of a collection of Jules Verne stories and he had tore the pages out of the binding. Earlier when I had checked on him he had been sitting on his bed watching Yogi Bear, the movie. Within 5 minutes he had suddenly decided to tear a book apart.

I asked him what he was doing, and why he had torn the book. He started with, "I-don't-know," but you could see it in his eyes, he had an idea but he just couldn't express it. I turned off the TV, sat down and looked him in the eye. "Why did you tear the book apart?" Still he struggled, but couldn't find the words to tell us why he did what he did. It was painful, he would start to say something, then stop, start again, stop, start again, stop, again and again. My frustration was mounting. He had just tore up an expensive book, and now couldn't even tell me why.



He picked up the book, again, thumbed through the pages, still struggling to find the right words to explain why he just tore up a very fine book. As he fumbled through the pages showing me each of the chapters it suddenly dawned on me. "Were you trying to separate the stories in the book?" His eyes light up, "Separate the stories. That's the word I was looking for, separate the stories. I was trying to separate the stories."

Atticus chimed in to my head, "If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view--until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

"Okay, sweet boy," I said, "continue to separate the stories in the book. But please don't do it to any other books. From now on we will only buy books that have one story in them." "Perfect," he said.

JOY

In the middle of all these incidents Ethan took another field trip to Metrocenter Mall, where he saw Santa. When he got home from that field trip he called for me to "come see something." I went downstairs where he pulled out a picture of him and the jolly one himself. I couldn't help but smile. There he was, all bundled up, in his stocking cap, scarf, jacket, and gloves. It must have been a chilly 62 degrees that day, but, hey, it's winter time and it's what you wear in the winter, when you're a sweet twenty-year-old boy sitting with Santa!


As I reflected on the picture, and the innocence it revealed, I was filled with joy knowing that I was Ethan's dad, and would be for eternity. It was that simple, amidst all the drama, meltdowns, and incidents he brings me pure joy because he is simply innocent. Once again Scout's voice came into my mind: "Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough."

Returning to President Nelson's address,
What will you and I be able to endure as we focus on the joy that is “set before” us?... What weakness will become a strength?... What disappointments, even tragedies, will turn to our good? And what challenging service to the Lord will we be able to give?
The answer: Everything!



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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Seems Like Forever Child Ago...

Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away - Marcus Aurelius
Over the past twelve years, a myriad of events have come and gone, some never to be forgotten, and others barely remarkable in the vast expanse that is our individual memory. For instance do you remember when you last owned, or watched something, anything, on a VHS tape? Or, where you were on September 11, 2001? Do you remember any of these other events that have occurred in the past dozen years?

2004

  • Facebook was launched
  • Sumatra earthquake caused the tsunami which devastated Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand
2005

  • YouTube was launched
  • Pope John Paul II died
  • Prince Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • First successful face transplant
2006

  • Twitter was launched
  • Pluto was expelled from the "United Federation of Planets 'cause they [didn't] speak English anyways"
  • Saddam Hussein executed
  • The "Housing Bubble" burst
2007

  • Britney Spears shaved her head
  • The iPhone made its global debut
  • Virginia Tech University campus massacre
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is published
2008
  • Barack Obama was elected President
  • Bernie Madoff, made off with $18 Billion in the world's greatest Ponzi scheme
  • The cyclone Nargis made landfall on Myanmar's west coast killing 138,000 people
  • The Olympic flame was lit in Beijing China
  • The King's of Leon used somebody
  • General Motors filed for bankruptcy, and Chevrolet, following a US taxpayer bailout of $51 billion, literally became "America's Best Trucks"
  • Blu-Ray disc hit the consumer market

2009

  • The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, died
  • The Fort Hood Massacre
  • Sarah Palin was the Republican Vice Presidential Nominee
2010

  • Wikileaks and Julian Assange leaked into the public view with the publication of 400,000 pages of classified information known as the "Iraqi War Logs"
  • Deepwater Horizon, also known as the BP or British Petroleum, oil spill oozed 210,000,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf.
  • While the Gulf awaited its own bailing out, the European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailed out the country of Greece for the measly sum of $122 billion.
  • A devastating earthquake struck Haiti killing around 160,000
  • An earthquake off the coast of Chile sent a massive tsunami inland killing 550 people
  • Adele rolled in the deep
  • The King's Speech won the Oscar for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, and Best Actor as Colin Firth showed us just how to speak the Queen's English.
2011
  • Following an earthquake, a tsunami struck Japan causing untold destruction including the Sendai nuclear meltdown 
  • Prince William married Kate Middleton
  • Osama bin Laden was killed
  • The 99% Occupied Wall Street
  • The Space Shuttle took its last flight
2012
  • Aurora Theatre massacre
  • Sandy Hook massacre
  • Hurricane Sandy moved from the Caribbean to Canada and all coast line points in between and unleashed her $75 billion wrecking ball of destruction, taking 233 lives
  • The US Embassy in Benghazi was attacked
2013
  • Boston Marathon bombing
  • Edward Snowden leaked CIA information
  • The Ebola virus began its destructive spread along the west coast of Africa
  • Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge was born
  • Jordan rolled as Twelve Years a Slave won the Oscar for Best Picture
2014
  • The Olympic flame lights up Sochi Russia
  • Malaysian Flight 370 disappeared
  • The [Un]Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) began leaving its mark, and hasn't stopped yet.
  • Germany wins the FIFA World Cup
2015
  • The Baltimore Riots
  • San Bernardino massacre
  • Airbus A320-211 crashes in the French Alps, killing 150
  • A magnitude 7.5 earthquake strikes the Hindu Kush region and causes 398 deaths (279 in Pakistan, 115 in Afghanistan and 4 in India)
  • The Zika virus outgrew its narrow equatorial-Africa belt and spread to the Americas
  • Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge is born
To be honest I didn't remember many of these, and some of them seemed so commonplace, I couldn't really think of a time they didn't exist. What should be one of my barely remarkable memories is that since March 2004 we have not owned a VHS player. See, I told you it was a barely remarkable memory. But why do I remember it so well?

To tell you the truth I didn't remember it that well, I had to sit and think about it following an experience my wife had with Ethan. While at his day program Ethan was taken on a field trip to Savers. There, with approval from the store, he was allowed to look through the DVD cases and take out all the filler papers. We have literally hundreds of these papers in our house. They get collected, carried around, and eventually will get laminated and cut into small images, then get carried around in a ziplock baggie for months and months.

If you ever see us in public, most likely, if you look close, you will see a small bulge just above Ethan's waist. There, underneath his t-shirt, he secures his little of baggie of images. He accesses them by reaching his arm down through the neck of his t-shirt. Presently there are two baggies of images down his shirt.

Well, during the Saver's trip, Ethan came across a filler that referenced an old video game. A video game which happened to have made its public debut two years before he was born. The announcement, rather commercial, for the Game Boy Pagemaster video game was part of the previews on The Pagemaster VHS tape. The Pagemaster is one of Ethan's all time favorites, but we haven't owned or viewed on VHS since 2004. 

After getting home from the field trip my wife asked Ethan what he did for the day. Here is what happened... (turn up the volume)

video

Here's a segment of the original VHS I found on YouTube - which by the way Ethan didn't know was available on YouTube.

video

Now, that's what I call a memory. No in fact I would call it a FOR-Ev-ER Child memory!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Forever Child

Earlier this month, while driving to Camp Lo-Mia for girl's camp Evie and me had a friend, Sarah, ride up with us. As we drove we had an opportunity to talk, and we got on the topic of special needs children. Just as we were descending the mountain into Camp Verde, Sarah made a comment that stuck with me. She had mentioned that they too have a "forever child" in their family.

For a second I was caught off guard by the phrase. Then, as I played it again in my mind I was taken aback by the sweet utility of such a phrase.

I've never liked saying "we have a son who is autistic," because it is a lie. We have a son, and he has autism. It is a condition he has, not what he is. Daniel Gottlieb, in his stirring Letters to Sam, wrote about such labeling:
A couple of weeks after my accident, I was lying in my hospital bed and I heard my doctor in the hallway saying, "That quad in 301 - did he get his medication?" Just a couple of weeks earlier I had been Dr. Gottlieb in some circles. In other circles, Dan. In others, Daddy. And now I was "the quad"?
Well, Sam, over the years I have learned that I am not a quadriplegic. I have quadriplegia. You are not autistic. You have autism. Because of our labels, some people will be afraid to approach us. Others will be cautious about talking to us or trusting us. With my spinal cord injury and your autism, we look different and act different. But we can also teach people...that no matter what happens to our bodies or our minds, our souls remain whole.
I am in full agreement with Dr. Gottlieb about potentials, and labels, though I have felt the air rush out of the room when the proverbial elephant enters as the word autism is used. To avoid such uncomfortableness, not for me but for the others in the room, I try to be a little gentler in speaking of our son. I occasionally refer to him as our little rainman, or simply say we have a special needs child. then if they ask for clarification, we drop the autism word and take it from there.

But hearing Sarah's phrase - forever child - I could see the efficacy of such a sweet phrase. It at once captures the essence of Ethan. He is a perpetual 7-year-old in an ever growing adult body. He wears man sized clothes, can grow a simple beard in just a few days if left unshaved, yet he still needs assistance showering, and occasionally wiping. He still loves Elmo, plays with Legos, carries around a ziplock bag of cartoon pictures from the Internet he cut, pasted, printed, and laminated. He still wants to cuddle while watching Muppet Treasure Island, hates the scene in October Sky where Homer Hickam and his dad yell at each other, and cries when Little Foot's mom dies in The Land Before Time; truly he is a forever child.

But all of this talk about forever children is simply a culmination from events which took place this past May when Ethan had his birthday. It is not that shocking that he had a birthday, since he has had them every year in May for the past two decades. But this past birthday Ethan turned 20. He officially exited the teenage years.

But, not so fast - as most things work in this house. Somebody was not too happy about turning twenty. This conversation with me, or other conversations like this, took place whenever he was asked how old he was going to be:

     Ethan, how old are you going to be on your birthday?

          Nineteen!

     Aren't you already nineteen?

          Yes.

     So how old will you be on your birthday?
Nineteen.
     Won't you be twenty?
NO! I don't want to be twenty. I don't want to be a man. I want to be a little boy forever. I don't want to be old like you, or grandpa, and walk like this [begins walking with an imaginary cane and slumped over with a sore back]
     You know sweet boy, I'm certain you're going to get your wish.
But, let's be clear. When I say forever child, I don't actually mean forever. Believe me I KNOW this won't last FOR-EV-ER. You see, when Elder Jeffrey R Holland spoke in General Conference in October 2013, in his talk "Like a Broken Vessel" I didn't hear him speak about depression, or mental illness, as most did, I heard the Spirit speak about autism.
I bear witness of that day when loved ones whom we knew to have disabilities in mortality will stand before us glorified and grand, breathtakingly perfect in body and mind. What a thrilling moment that will be! I do not know whether we will be happier for ourselves that we have witnessed such a miracle or happier for them that they are fully perfect and finally “free at last."
That is a day I look forward to, but for now, here in mortality, and all the todays and tomorrows that will come before "that day" arrives, he is and will be my Forever Child.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Force, it's calling to you. Just let it in.

The other night we got together as a family and saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In preparation for the movie #ImDatingSeth brought over Jedi robes and lightsabers. The plan was He and MoKo would wear them to the theatre. 

MoKo, Jedi Master
It was a wonderful idea since it was chillingly cold that night and the robes were nice and warm.

However, upon realizing what the items were Ethan became excited and asked MoKo if he could wear it. She obviously couldn't resist his request and happily helped him dress in the robe. 

Almost instantaneously Ethan became Obi-Wan Jinn (yes, a mix of two Jedi masters). He stood up tall, pulled the hood over his head, gently folded his hands holding them close to his waist, and began walking proudly towards the theatre. As traffic approached he lifted his right hand and swept it gently in front of his chest, his thumb and two fingers extended in perfect Jedi-mind-trick fashion.

Once inside the theatre Ethan couldn't resist admiring himself in the reflection from the entrance doors. Unfortunately this need to admire himself also put him in every body's way. I asked him a few times to step out of the entrance so that he didn't get in people's way. This didn't go well when I asked him the third time to please step away from the entrance. Turning, he waved his right hand, thumb and two fingers extended, across his chest and declared:

     Dad, I'm using the Force to tell you to get away from me.
Sorry, but the Force needs you to step out of the way. You can admire yourself in the reflection back here.
He stepped away from the door, and found a new place to admire himself in the reflections. That lasted about five minutes - or maybe just two. The next time I looked up he had moved back into position right in the doorway. By now more people were entering the theatre. I stepped towards him and asked him to move. In his best put-out-whine he slowly said,

     Alriiiiiiiiiggggght!
Thank you! Now, please stay out of the doorway.
Not more than two minutes later, he was back, proudly admiring himself in the reflection as he blocked the entrance. Not feeling very patient by now I stepped towards him and told him he needed to move or we'd have to go home, since he couldn't mind. Turning, he squarely faced me and once again waved his hand at me:

     Dad, get the %$#* back!
Nope, sorry, even with bad words added to it the force doesn't work that way. You need to get out of the doorway!
Reluctantly he stepped back out of the way, and luckily they began letting us through with our tickets. We took our seats, the movie began, The Force Awaken[ed], and it was fantastic!!

It is often said that Star Wars ideals and Latter-day Saint theology have close resemblances, such as the guidance of the Force and the guidance of the Holy Ghost. Consider how Star Wars portrays mankind as infinitely greater than the fallen worlds on which we live. It was Yoda who taught,
Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.
President Dieter Uchtdorf recently spoke of the divine destiny of man.
There seems to be something inside of us that resists endings...Why is this? Because we are made of the stuff of eternity. We are eternal beings, children of the almighty God.
Since seeing The Force Awakens, Ethan has been on a superpower kick. That is how it usually goes. He'll be focused on something, say the movie Marley and Me which he got for Christmas - since opening that present he has watched the movie ten times, at least. The moment he finishes it he starts it over again. This "focus" will go on for days, weeks, or sometimes months at a time, before he moves on to a new topic.

Well, since the movie, he focused on superpowers for nearly two weeks. Just the other day he began printing off something from the computer. It printed for a rather long time. After it stopped he stapled it, and proudly announced:

     Dad, wait 'til God sees my list of superpowers He's going to give me!
Oh, I'm sure he will be so excited! What kinds of superpowers?
Taking a look at his 20-page "Superpower Guidebook" he plans on giving God, I was fascinated by some of the superpowers he was able to search on the Internet and included in the list. Among the 375 superpowers he listed were:
  1. Regenerative Healing Factor
  2. Amalgamation
  3. Additional Limbs
  4. Body Part Substitution
  5. Self-Detonation (that one's gotta hurt)
  6. Fat Manipulation (I seriously could use that one!)
  7. 360-Degree Vision (All mothers already possess this power)
  8. Emotion Vision
  9. Omnilingualism
  10. Ancestor Evocation
  11. Perspicuity
  12. Psionic Inundation
  13. Deoxygenation
  14. Cloaking
  15. Reality Warping
  16. Concussion Beams
  17. Hell-Fire Manipulation (a close cousin to Can-Of-Whoop-#@$ Manipulation)
  18. Age Shifting (another very useful trait)
  19. Dermal Armor
  20. Self-Liquefication (kind of like we feel in August in Arizona)
  21. Xenarthra Mimicry (the ability to turn one's self into an armadillo, sloth, or aardvark! Heck YES!!)
  22. Candy Mimicry (for those sweet tooth cravings), and of course the classic Godly standbys
  23. Omnipresence,
  24. Omniscience, and
  25. Omnipotence. 
Coming up with the list of superpowers was the easy part. Now he is struggling with what to have God call him once he gets all those superpowers. He's narrowed it down to four possibilities:
  1. Mega Super Ethan
  2. Captain Ethan
  3. Captain Mega Super Cool Boy, and
  4. Captain Wonder Boy
I'm partial to number 3, but only because it reminds me of the names of classic 80's Rappers like Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince!

Though there is an obvious childlike genuineness in Ethan's desires, I can't help but recognize the divine potential in at least some of those powers.  Consider this in light of President James Faust's comments from an April 2002 General Conference address:
Great things, can happen to you, even beyond your fondest dreams and expectations! Often we do not have even a glimpse of our potential for happiness and accomplishment in this life and in eternity...We must recognize that our natural gifts and abilities are limited, but when augmented by inspiration and guidance of the Holy Ghost, our potential increases manyfold. You need help from a power beyond your own...We may not be fully aware of what the Lord has put in our “inward parts” and written in our hearts.
We would all do well to keep Ethan's youthful innocence when it comes to contemplating those Heavenly glimpses. Remember,

The Force, it's calling to you. Just let it in.