Monday, March 26, 2012

I do not share the speed of the ostrich.

If I were an animal I'd be an ostrich.
As stated above, I do not share their speed.  They are fast and often outrun predators.  I could never outrun anyone or anything.  My five-year-old can almost catch me in a game of chase.
The reason I'd be an ostrich, well, I used to think it was because when threatened, they bury their head in the sand.  This, however, is a misconception.  You see, when hiding from predators, the ostrich will lay it's head and neck flat on the ground trying to appear as a mere mound of dirt. 
I can relate.
Often when confronted with, well, life I want to lay flat on my bed on the ground and appear as something I'm not.  I want to sleep for hours on end be indistinguishable from my surroundings and let whatever threat that may be present, pass me by.  I don't want to be engaged with reality, because what if I just can't handle it? 

Maybe I was never meant to handle it.

This is an update on our family.

I've been meaning to write this post for some time now. 
When last I wrote about Emmett, he had started attending a special preschool in Auburn.  We were commuting five days a week between Ashland and Auburn.  Then in December, Ross and I took Emmett to an appointment at Children's in Birmingham for a speech evaluation.  Our appointment ended up being more about trying to get Emmett's therapies centrally located.  The therapist told us that we needed to start thinking long term concerning the course that we would be taking with Emmett's treatment.  We needed to really consider the toil commuting five days a week would take on our family.
It wasn't that she told us anything new, but I sat and cried.  Reality has a way of making you think you've come to terms with it and then reintroducing itself all over again.  It carries such weight.  It can feel suffocating. It is truthful and while that in and of itself isn't bad, when accompanied with my emotions, reality can seem big and scary.
Here we were at yet another evaluation.  We wanted to get Emmett the help that he was needing more than anything, but it felt like we were once again trying to move all the while just standing still.  That's the only way that I know to describe it.  Maybe it makes sense. Maybe it doesn't.
The lady that we met with was very helpful.  She knew of a speech therapist in Auburn who would accept our insurance and maybe even go to Emmett's preschool for his sessions.
It was during this time when Ross and I began to see the need to move our family to Auburn.  The day to day stresses and time constraints of commuting were starting to take their toil.  The thought of continuing as we were for years to come didn't seem possible. And that is why three weeks ago we moved to Auburn. 
Our time in Ashland was short, but very purposeful.  During these past months, our church family ministered to us in remarkable ways.  They even had "Emmett's Supper Club", in which they brought us supper three times a week.  Amazing.  They encouraged us, prayed for us, and made themselves available to us to help in any way we needed.  We will forever be grateful for them and the kindness that they showed to us.

Our last Sunday at FBCA was the 11th of March. 
Ross will be supply preaching in our current association.  He will also be opening up an Alstate office handling insurance and investments.
Ellie Kate has started kindergarten in Auburn.  She didn't miss a beat.  After her first day, her teacher told me that Ellie Kate kept her in stitches all day.  She told her about Bunny and something about diarrhea.  I'm sure I should just plan on being embarrassed when I pick her up everyday.
In our new house, Ellie Kate shares a room with Emmett.  It's just the cutest thing.  They have bunk beds.  Emmett loves going to bed.  He gets very excited and jabbers alot.  Ellie Kate told me that she climbed down from her top bunk and layed on the bottom bunk with him the other night until he went to sleep.  Then she returned to the top bunk.  She really is a good big sister.  She naturally teaches and encourages Emmett, as well, as bossing him around to no end.  When they are together, giggling fills the air.  In Kroger last week they "drove" our car buggy and we got so many looks because of their laughter.  I don't know about you, but this is not my common response to grocery shopping. They are very silly together.  It's sweet until one gets tired of the other.
And Emmett, well I don't even know where to start. 
His progress has been nothing short of amazing.  He loves going to "cool" and is absolutely thriving!  He now calls me "Mama" all the time.  Just last week he came into our room at 5:45 in the A.M. and said "Good Monin', Mama." So sweet. And bless his heart he says "Ewie Kaaate" alot sometimes even out of frustration. Imagine that.
He talks and talks and talks and we can understand more of it.  And don't get him started on his ABC's because you'll hear them over and over and over again (which is fine with me).
We are able to meet with his case worker at the preschool each week to be updated on his progress.  We are given printouts including graphs and charts that show what he is working on and tasks that his little self has mastered.  We are able to ask any questions and receive advice on ways that we can work with Emmett at home.
Twice a week Emmett receives speech therapy.  His therapist comes to his preschool for one session and then we take him to her office for the other session.  She is training us to help in Emmett's speech development.  He has learned how to make his wants known by asking, "May I have (such n such) pwease?"  We have been working on differentiating between yes/no. He has made tremendous strides in this area and it is just the cutest thing when you can tell that he's proud of himself. 
We are still waiting on our appointment with the place in Birmingham.  However, the goals that have been set for Emmett at his school are not contingent upon a diagnosis being made.  So we wait and that's okay.
I honestly cannot convey his progress.  We have been blessed to be able to witness it.
He is still very much Emmett.  He tends to be in his own little world, acting out movies/cartoons, but there is a definite difference in being able to communicate with him. The hard days seem farther apart now. 
 And Jack, well, he's my little side kick.  Sweet fella.  He had his first haircut, but it did not deter his locks from waving to the sky.  He's a fluffy headed little person.  He's a scooter.  He is responsible for cleaning the floors and he's good at it.  Whatever edible items he misses, well, Bunny steps in to do her part.  And she still provides reliable security for our family.  No shock there.
Jack points. Alot. 
Jack jabbers.  Alot.
He's still my Gwabber and Thrower.  I also think he's addicted to Bunny's food.  I am always relocating either him or her food.  It's a constant. Gerber may want to find out the ingredients in Science Diet's adult small bites.

And the ostrich. Much like the ostrich there have been many times recently when I've just wanted to blend in with my surroundings until trouble has passed me by.  But then God clearly shows me that that's not my calling.  It can be as simple as Ellie Kate asking me a question.  And in answering her I'm reminded that I am the lense thru which she perceives the world around her.  So yesterday when we were in the car together and the subject came up about why we moved to Auburn, we talked about how her Daddy and I make decisions.  I told her that we ask God what He wants us to do.  Then I got to share Romans 8:28 with her.  And while I think I saw a light bulb turn on above her head as she said,"Oh, I get it." It was I who was reminded that He works ALL things to the good of those who love Him. 
And He has.  And He does.
Much like the ostrich, I think there is also a misconception about me.  I think I'm perceived as something I'm not.  This last year when Jack got sick, when we moved three times, when we had evaluation after evaluation with Emmett, when we dealt with Ross's health concerns, when Ellie Kate started kindergarten, and on and on and on. I think that some people thought I was strong.  I wasn't.  I was frail and sometimes sad. I was hurt and confused.  I was wrestling with my faith and trying to cling to what I knew to be true.   
And once again in the middle of each transition God would wrap His grace and goodness tightly around me and my little family and handle everything in the tender way that only He can.