So, hi guys. It’s been a while.
This is maybe going to be not so much a Faith Friday post as a Friday post highlighting the recent developments in my life where more faith is needed. But hey, honesty is the best policy, right?
I’m a mom, so my kids are a huge part of my life and they are the area where I am most spiritually attacked. I spend way more time than I need to worrying and fretting and wondering about them, especially since any time spent worrying is too much. I also tend to let my kids become my identity in a sense, and this only magnifies the problem of worrying about them. But no mom, no matter what, ever wants anything to be wrong with her kids. That’s pretty universal. And in a short span of time, I’ve had doctors worried about both of my children. And it’s hard.
Recently, Ella went in for her 15 month check up. At our old pediatrician, there had been concerns with her development, specifically her speech/oral motor development and her gross motor development. At the time, she had some therapy for some trouble eating and was going to be scheduled for an evaluation with a physical therapist, although their first opening wouldn’t be until after we had moved. Other than that, she was too young at the time to really think about her speech, so it was a sit and wait and see how it unfolds sort of thing.
But, things didn’t really ever unfold. She never babbled as a baby, but she did make some sounds. And she continued to make sounds, but she never really strung them together to form words, or even things that sounded much like words. Eventually, she started trying to mimic things that we said, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, but she wasn’t using words as labels. She wasn’t consistently calling us by our names, naming objects, or able to really tell us what she wanted. And she wasn’t very good at following simple commands. Sometimes, it was almost like she didn’t understand some of what we said. She is so social and smiley and happy, that it wasn’t a huge concern. But at her 15 month check up, she scored delayed in the areas of speech and gross motor in her developmental questionnaire, and this warranted the pediatrician to feel the need to set up an evaluation with our state’s children’s developmental agency. They came, did the assessment, and she qualified for services. She’s now in speech and is doing well. She’s started saying a lot of words, although still not maybe where she should be. But she is well on her way and we don’t really foresee any long term problems with her. In fact, now that she’s at least trying to talk more, she won’t stop
I know this is not the end of the world. Lots of kids need speech and they get it and they’re fine. It’s just the fact that we had to go through this developmental screening and to be told your child has a delay in anything is hard to hear. You just want it to never have even needed to be done in the first place. It wasn’t a big surprise, it just wasn’t what we wanted to hear.
And then, there’s Pilot. Pilot has been a source of worry for us since he was born. He had a fever at 2 days old and was in the hospital for a week. I remember the doctor telling me that she didn’t know what kind of effect the fever would have on him, that fevers were dangerous in newborns and could cause delays and disabilities. Scary stuff to hear for a first time parent. But he got better and he seemed to be fine. He was a little delayed in motor skills and language, but he hit his stride and started to develop pretty typically. He’s just always been kind of weird. It’s hard to even explain. He has quirks and eccentricities and sensitivities that are just not typical. Things like walking around and holding toy pieces more often than he appropriately played with them. Taking an insane amount of time to walk out of the door because, for some reason, thresholds are hard for him. The light’s too bright, the noise is too loud. And as he got older, we noticed that he was awkward around other people. He would walk funny, hold his head funny and just make noises or speak in a strange voice when he talked to people. Not necessarily all the time, and not really with people he was comfortable with, but then sometimes we just don’t notice it. Sometimes, we just write it off as him being a little weird. I’m weird. Weird is cool.
But he just had his 3 year check up and the doctor had some concerns about him as well. She asked a lot of questions about his behaviors and quirks. Then she dropped the A-word. She said he seemed like he was exhibiting some characteristics of having an autistic spectrum disorder, namely Asperger’s. She asked me if I was familiar with the term. Of course. My sister has it and I probably know more about autism than she does. I worked with kids with autism for years before Ella and took courses in it to become certified as a behavioral analyst (which did not happen, because kids happened instead). So I was more than a little familiar. Maybe because of that, it’s hard for me to swallow. To a lot of people, he probably just seems a little weird, a little odd. And right now, that’s not a huge deal. He’s only 3 and preschooler’s are notoriously weird anyways. He can sort of pass it off right now. But what about in the future, when it’s time to make friends and go to school and get a job and find a wife? What are those challenges? We recently went to a developmental assessment with a school psychologist who told us it was his opinion that he had Asperger’s, or with the changes about to occur in the DSM-V, a high-functioning autistic spectrum disorder. It wasn’t a diagnostic assessment, just an assessment to say he needs to go have a comprehensive evaluation to get a diagnosis, because without that you can’t really get services.
There are so many unknowns. I know that both of my kids are perfect and fine. I don’t think there is anything significantly wrong with them, thank God. I have seen what severe autism does to families, and I am so grateful that I don’t have to face that. Still, what if Ella has a speech impediment or a stutter or something? What if kids make fun of Pilot and he doesn’t have any friends? What if my babies get their hearts hurt because of this? What if? What if? What if?
That’s where that faith comes in. I need more faith in the area of my kids so that I can give all those what if’s to God and just know He loves us and will take care of my babies and He wants what is best for them and He will work all things for His glory. Always, every time. So that’s where we are. Struggling a bit with things going on in my life. But this is me. I couldn’t really write an encouraging, uplifting Faith Friday post today, because this is what things look like right now. This is honesty and this is raw and I know the Lord will bring us through it. One step at a time.
Giant Rainbow Compost Cookies
Note: These cookies seem a little crazy. They are. You think, there’s no way they could be good. There’s chips and coffee grounds in them! Don’t fret. They’re wonderful. Stop thinking about it and trust us, we’ve never steered you wrong before.
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg and 1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup crushed salt and vinegar potato chips
3/4 cup chocolate chunks
1/2 cup crushed salted pretzels
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup chopped heath bar
1/3 cup peanut butter chips
1/3 cup assorted sprinkles
1/2 tbsp coffee grounds (yes, actual grounds, not espresso powder)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together butter and both sugars. Add egg and egg yolk and vanilla and stir until well combined.
- Slowly add in flour mixture into large bowl, stirring until a dough forms. It will be crumbly at first but just stir until it comes together.
- Fold in all mix-ins to dough. You will probably need to use your hands to bring it all together because it’s a lot of stuff.
- Roll dough into large balls (about 1 1/2 inches) and place at least 2 inches apart. It should make about 18 giant cookies.
- Bake for 9-12 minutes, until the middles of the cookies are just set. Let cool almost completely and tentatively take a bite, before realizing it’s one of the most delicious cookies you’ve ever tasted.
Source: How Sweet Eats