Monday, March 30, 2009

A Distracted Evening

I was having an amusing time this evening watching Whose Line is It Anyway? when I read this post on Anne Kennedy's blog, felt like vomiting, and then opened a beer. What a day.

I remember being about 16 weeks pregnant with Miranda when Alex received his diagnosis of high-functioning autism. When your eldest child is on the spectrum, chances aren't real good for the next one. (Alex is a rare one in his preschool-disabled classroom to have a younger sibling, especially one who is not autistic.) So I remember the misery well but I. Never. Considered. Having. An. Abortion. In fact, I refused any and all testing that could possibly lead in that direction.

Looking back and recognizing just how deeply depressed I was at the time, I'm grateful I was pregnant when we learned of Alex's diagnosis because it kept me from hurting myself. But it did feel like our world was ending, that all of our hopes and dreams of parenthood and a family were being smashed into pieces like shattered glass.

But even then, I did everything I could to protect that tiny baby girl growing inside me, and God did the rest. And when she came out into the world backwards (so, by planned c-section) on October 30, 2006, she was perfect and beautiful and the most amazing marvel of God. A miracle, in the flesh, in our very hands.

And now, at almost two and a half years old, she is a challenge at times, but a darling one, who loves hugs and kisses and just wants you to play with her. A child who is treasured, whose life I never regret. Yes, we suffered during the pregnancy and later, with her diagnosis of Sensory Integration Dysfunction last year, but never more than if we'd lost her. Or, worse, chosen to throw her away.

You see, if we'd had Alex evaluated by Early Intervention nine months earlier, like many wise and kind people advised us to, there probably never would have been a Miranda. So God turned my folly--for it was I who refused to call EI and bullied Marshall until he let me have my way--into joy in the person of my daughter. She is God's mercy and forgiveness and immeasurable grace, incarnate.

And now, after a break for weeping, let me do my five things:

1) Miranda doesn't have meningitis. I got a call this afternoon from the Children's Ministry Coordinator at church this afternoon saying Miranda had been exposed to meningitis in the nursery at Bible study last Wednesday and I probably would want to consult my pediatrician. So I called Dr. Chun and arranged to pick Alex up at school at 3 so we could go straight to Cadoro Pediatrics where Dr. Chun examined her and said Miranda is fine and we can still go to the MOPS playdate at Pump It Up tomorrow. Charlotte Olson is coming here first to play and then go with us, which makes it all the more fun. Can I say again how blessed I am to have such a fine team of doctors to help us? Thank you, Lord, and thank you, Joan Lawton (our case manager from EI for both Alex and Miranda) who sent us there.

2) I went to bed with a fever last night (catching the bug Miranda had all weekend) but felt well enough this morning to send Marshall (albeit grudgingly) off to work (where he did need to be) this morning and face the day with the kids. And have felt better as the day went on. Small bug, quickly vanquished. So many of our friends have been laid up with the stomach flu this season that lingers for 4-5 days. Thank you, God, that you spared us. Keep doing so, Lord. It would be a nightmare trying to rehydrate Alex.

3) Alex has had 3 good days in a row (Thurs, Fri, Mon) at school. Again, God bless Miss Jessica and her talented, giving and gracious team. On days like this I feel like I simply do not thank them enough.

4) Marshall fixed what we thought was the death-knell of my car. The heater had stopped working and he thought that meant the water pump was failing, but, MaryLee rescued us once again and told him to check the coolant levels. He topped up the coolant and the problem was solved, giving us some more time to arrange for the new car. Clever woman, that mother-in-law of mine. Having her means I have 2 great moms, not just one.

5) Marshall's out in the garage working on the Beetle because he decided he wants to go back to the car show where he won first place last year. And the show's this Sunday, so the car needs to be all spiffied up again. I promised I would learn how to drive it. I need to do that soon. For that car is another concrete reminder of God's grace. Years ago, when the rebuild of that car was stretching on seemingly forever, it became something between us in our marriage, but God showed me that to love Marshall I needed to love the car. That I needed to want him to finish the rebuild as much or more than he did, because that was part of wanting what was best for Marshall. And God gave me the grace to do just that, so I am proud of what a beauty it is.

Now there's a marathon post for you. :)

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