Update on Kate

First of all, you have no idea how your comments on my last post helped me. Not just because they gave me good direction and thoughtful suggestions, but also because it’s such a blessing to have women who might not agree on everything come together to try and help. I really don’t think I can express what it meant to me, so thank you for the respectful, kind ways in which you offered your experiences and ideas.

At Kate’s appointment, her pediatrician went over several questions with me and it seemed based on that, there is a good chance she will be diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. It was a really basic questionnaire and she suggested that we take her in for some more testing to get a better idea of what’s going on. While I do think there is some ADD stuff, I also think there may be some sensory/emotional issues that come into play and before we even consider treatment (whatever that would be), we need to know exactly what we’re dealing with. The cool thing about Kate’s pediatrician is that she lives two doors down from us and is a strong Believer. Kate plays with her friends in their backyard almost everyday, so she gets to see her in action quite a bit :)

There are two local places that were recommended to us-one is called the learning lab I think and the other is Currey-Ingram (sp?) here in town. I know the latter is super expensive but seems really extensive. Has anyone around Nashville had experiences with either of these or any others? Would love to hear your thoughts if you have.

So, we are prayerful about getting her in somewhere to be further evaluated and then will seek the Lord’s guidance as we decide the best course of action for her. I have already made several of the changes that were mentioned in your comments, and would welcome any additional thoughts along these lines. I’ve ordered a book on food choices for ADD kids and look forward to reading that. We did modify her diet drastically awhile ago but really didn’t see any consistent change in behavior. I’ve added Omega 3 vitamins too, since many of you mentioned them.

Ok, I’m going to hit the sack but I just wanted to check in and say thank you! I’ll keep you all posted as we go!

Love,

Ang

My Kate, Your Advice.

I have hesitated to write this. In fact I have started it and then stopped about five times. It’s hard to ask for help when you feel like you are putting yourself in a position where you could be scrutinized, and I know too well how that goes down.

So. I’m appealing to you all as my sisters and I’m asking that you show respect to me and to anyone who comments here. I know that some of this could trigger a debate, which is not what I want (in fact, I welcome your respectful opinions but will feel completely comfortable deleting anything I don’t think fits within the “loving advice” approach). Can we just show people that we can have civilized conversations as Christians without being ugly to each other?

Okay, with that said, here’s the deal.

I had a great conversation with Kate’s teacher (she goes one day to a tutorial program) and it confirmed what I have known to be true for a long while. She has a really hard time concentrating and it has gotten to the point where she’s super frustrated all the time (and we are too) because she cannot stay on track. It’s more than that, though, and it’s really, really hard. All that to say, we have a doctor’s appt tomorrow to have an ADD evaluation, and I’m pretty certain that she will be diagnosed with it. My question is this:

For all of you with kids like my Kate, what has worked for you? Have you had experience with medication that you would feel comfortable passing along? I want to do what is best for her and while I absolutely trust my pediatrician, I would love to hear from other mommas who are in this boat.

I’m kind of an emotional wreck right now over this. Can I get some sisters to speak wisdom to me in love about all of this? Anything you can contribute is so appreciated. Oh mercy, I’m crying. It’s hard being a mommy sometimes.

Thank you in advance. I can’t tell you how much your advice (and prayers…please, prayers…) mean to me.

With love,

Angie

Pattern

It had been months since I last sewed, and I wasn’t even sure I was going to remember how.

I lift the machine cover and stare at the buttons, trying to recall what they all mean. My face is splotchy from crying and my eyes are swollen and hot. I run my finger along the right side of the sewing machine and they remember instinctively where the power switch is. The lights flash on but I sit paralyzed.

Because it’s all a mess.

The whole thing.

I can’t hear him anymore and he can’t hear me. I’ll just sew…I think. And then I’ll feel like myself again. I wind white thread into the bobbin and I’m a little surprised at how easy it comes back to me.

I thought it would be harder.

Now that I have it threaded, I reach for the pieces of fabric I left sitting months ago.

Or was it more?

They still smell laundry-fresh and I wonder how that happens. I hold them up tentatively, trying to remember which is the front and which is the back. I slip three pins out and separate the material, but it’s not coming back to me. I should remember. I’m so sad I don’t.

It would have been beautiful if I had just paid attention when it was new, and now I’m left with the pieces.

I am like that, and I know it. I start things ambitiously and I believe I will finish them, but I usually don’t. I love the fresh journal, the creases in a new pattern, the way a book looks on my shelf. But then the pieces pile up and my heart breaks and I feel it all over again.

You’re a failure.

I reach for the pattern because I’m not going to leave it, along with all the other half-finished skirts and dresses in the third drawer down. It can still be right. She hasn’t grown out of it just yet, and if I concentrate she will have it before the summer sun comes up again.

There’s a knock at the door and I know why.

Because he is splotchy-red too and we’re both holding pieces.

“Can I come in?”

I nod, but don’t dare to speak because I don’t know what will fall out. My hands are busy and I like it better that way. I look down at what they are doing and I pretend to be indifferent. I’m not, and he knows it.

“Working on her dress?”

I nod again.

I can’t help but think it looks like a movie scene, with me fumbling my way and him fumbling his.

“I just felt like I needed to sew again.” It means more than needles, and he sees through my small talk.

There is silence while I unfold the paper carefully. It bends this way and that and if it isn’t done just right the whole thing will tear apart and then where will we be?

I realize I’m missing a piece, and I say so.

“So what do we do?” He asks.

And the naked truth is this.

I have no idea.

I tell him I have to cut a new one and he tells me he wants to help. It’s easier to do it myself, but that’s the problem. I’m stitching and mending and thinking I can do it all and I can’t. He doesn’t wait for an answer, but reaches for the fabric and takes it from me.

“It smells like laundry soap.” He whispers.

I don’t say a word, but I reach past him for the scissors, and show him what needs to be done. He smiles because he loves me when I create, and he wants to remember what it’s like to be in my world. It’s been a long time since I opened the door.

He learns quickly, and I smile because he is a grown man with a three day old beard and flannel pajamas, but he looks like a boy while he cuts.

Out of nowhere, I feel the sting of sadness.

“Have we made a mess of it?”

He doesn’t answer before the tears come. My hands go to my face to cover the hurt before he fully sees me, but I can’t. I never could.

I just wanted to sew, I think to myself.

But it wasn’t the fabric I loved.

It wasn’t even the finished product.

It was watching the needle and knowing that it was working all the time to mend, even as it pierced.

It looks like it’s dangerous, and as if it’s wounding. It tears through layers and even through skin. I’m convinced it will come away flawed and torn, and then I see the beauty of it all.

And the hum of the sewing machine reminds me again what it looks like to allow yourself to be wounded because you believe in what will one day come of it all.

And while the tears come fresh, he holds me, even with the scissors still in his hand, and he tells me he loves me and will fight for it to be beautiful again. I believe him and I cry because there aren’t words that say what I want them to.

There are only patterns and dreams, and the way he came to knock on the door because he loved me more than his own pride.

We stay up late. Too late, actually. And we laugh because we have all these babies that won’t wait for us to sleep in tomorrow, and it will be time to stitch some more.

The dial spins around and the motor is warm to the touch when we leave.

It’s good to remember.

I still haven’t finished the dress, because there was too much sadness in the memory of her. I had thought it might be good to give it to her sister, but the truth was it was better left undone.

I folded it neatly and slipped it into her drawer, even as it was.

Not in this life, love…

Maybe one day I will take it out again and marvel at how it still smells like fresh life, even though it has been years since I saw it last.

Oh, how I miss her.

But there in front of me is the rest of it, and I so long to love it well.

I won’t forget the way we welcomed that midnight hour, crumpled on the floor in pajamas, laughing and crying because we didn’t know what else to do.

I have stopped resenting the third drawer down, because I believe that one day-

Well, I hope you know.

He’s going to make it beautiful again.

Abby & Ellie talk to Siri about Jesus

 

Hope you got a smile out of that :)

Ang

Mirror and Sky

I didn’t use to be so worried  about wrinkles. Which made sense because I didn’t have any. I think for a very long time I was actually convinced that I would be the one person in the history of time who would grow old without ever having to buy wrinkle cream.

A few months ago I was getting ready in the bathroom and Ellie walked in and said something funny. I laughed and then gasped at my reflection in the mirror. Were those…? I mean, surely not. I’ve worked out all the details. No gray hair, no wrinkles, no belly fat, no stretch marks. And I accepted the latter two as payment for my babies. But the Lord and I had not come to any definitive conclusions about the rest of it.

Imagine my surprise a few days later when I found not one, but three gray hairs.

Clearly, it was time for intervention (and by “intervention” I mean “shopping).

I headed to Sephora because they are like a therapist but with more lipstick choices. I found a woman who seemed to have made the same pact with God about aging but apparently had better moisturizer than I did. She walked me to the back of the store and introduced me to an eye cream that smelled like dead fish. I wanted to embrace the dead fish because once my teenage skin came back it would seem like a small price to pay. I bought the fish stuff, along with a few other “must-haves” for the rewind process. I’m not going to say I didn’t give it a fair shot, but approximately 45 minutes after I put it on, I still saw some wrinkles and I gave a monologue that would have made Solomon seem optimistic in Ecclesiastes.

Stupid wrinkles. They’re just around my eyes a little and mostly when I smile. Actually, I’m not even 100% sure they are wrinkles. They might just be my face.

Whatever.

They smell like fish now.

My thought process for a few days went something like this:

“I’m old. I’m practically on the doorstep of death. I need to deal with it.”

“Who cares what I look like? I mean, the Lord doesn’t look at the face. He looks at the heart.”

“Well that’s good. But unfortunately, everyone else looks at your face and yours is old and freaky looking. And I would be much more concerned about your arm fat than your wrinkles. You can give up smiling forever but your arms are going to have to move.”

“I’m so vain. I need to get over it.”

And on and on. And then on a little more because why not go for broke, you know?

I know I’m not the only one who has been through this, and I also know that it’s inevitable. But I guess I never realized I was going to be included.

Truth be told, I don’t think it’s even about face lines or gray hairs.

I just don’t want things to be moving quite so fast.

I meant to take a picture of Charlotte’s tiny little baby feet hanging off the rocking chair the other day and I took at least 15 photos, bemoaning the way the angle was making them look so big. I scrolled through a couple and looked up at her again, and in an instant I realized they were wholly representing what existed. Her feet are chubby and delicious, and I kiss them every single day. And somewhere in the kissing and the shoes and the towel drying them after bath time, I missed the part where they changed.

The camera doesn’t lie, and neither does the mirror.

My heart says, “It will never change,”  but the reflections tell me otherwise.

I sat in the moonlight all alone that night and whispered to Him, “Why?”

Why do you let me love things as they are only to tell me they won’t stay?

And as the blushing bride, ever well-intentioned, I realized my mistake as soon as the words left my mouth.

All this dark night, and you sit in the moonlight asking why.

I’ve been holding it all too tightly. Shoving feet in tiny shoes and scrutinizing the way the hours are robbing me of what was beautiful. I missed the way He lit up the night for me.

His moon.

His love.

His painting of my hair and ticking of the clock.

His spectacular plan that I’m so tempted to forget in favor of wrinkle cream and doubt. I get the sense that I’ve been treading water for a long time, asking Him to give me something that feels better.

I spend more time looking for my reflection in a mirror, rather than in the night sky. I want to drink deep of the landscape He has blessed me with. Not from behind a camera, trying to clip and edit until it matches my heart, but as a woman who can see the stars spilled out and believe Him.

There is beauty in the believing, isn’t there?

It’s a warm summer day today, and I have a feeling my backyard will be full of noises and patches of light tonight.

And as it often does, the wind will pick up the swings and move them back and forth while I cry out for them to be still. Tonight I will watch them and I will smile.

And instead of worrying about the swings, I will thank Him for the wind.

Constantly moving.

Always nudging us toward our home with Him.

Jesus, You make it all unbearable beautiful when we dare to look. Thank you for the mercy that sets us all free to love you in return…You are Everything.

And also, Jesus?

I don’t want to smell like fish anymore.

Amen.