Monday, May 04, 2009

This is bad! Crushes & Autism & Jesus, Oh my!

I have a crush. I do. I am trying soooo hard not to though. So hard, really. But when I get like this, all girly and dreamy-eyed, I'm just a complete dork who can't string two words together into a coherent sentence. And I look like a goofy faced koala bear all hopped up on eucalyptus leaves and daydreams with a big, silly grin on my face.

I really hope this doesn't last too long. I need to snap out of this pink swirly clouded fog and come back to the reality that I really don't think he is that into me. Of course, I did balance all this self-doubt with a good chat with my best guy friend this morning, in which I related all the details every conversation we've ever had, and every look he's ever given me, and everything he's ever done, etc. I made him listen to every little nuanced detail, and at the end he came quite close to bopping me upside the head and saying "Are you kidding me? He likes you. You can't see that?" No, honestly I can't. I mean, there's no way on earth I could ever get that lucky, cuz this guy is Qual-i-ty! I still don't believe, and would like to move on past this as soon as possible, please. Preferably into a big glass of Cabernet and a good book.

Anyways, 'nuff said. What I really got excited about today was the fact that posted an article today stating that researchers are finding links to autism even as early as infancy. This is huge!

For most parents, the first age of concern over a potentially autistic child's behavior is around 18 months, but the typical age for diagnosis isn't till about 3. That's a pretty big gap to be left wondering, as a parent, if your child is ok. And while researchers are finding that there are "clues" that infants and young toddlers are giving that are signs of autism related disorders, they're also saying that 18 months is too early for a concrete diagnosis. Understandably, all babies develop differently, and show interest in varied objects or actions. And the signs that characterize autism, such as delayed speech or repetitive motion or fixation on a specific object or toy, are skills that babies as young as 18 months have not fully developed yet. The article states that instead of using what is there to identify autism at such an early age, doctors are using what isn't present in a babies behavior to diagnose it. I guess that makes sense.

Yet, as I read this article, I was struck by the sheer injustice of this sentence "Among the telltale signs of trouble at 12 months: ....lack of joyful expression". Of course, an absence of babbling, lack of eye contact, and staring at inanimate objects for too long are also signs, but really? Lack of a joyful expression? I may be over reacting (I really don't think I am), but that kind of injustice is indicative of the fall of man to me. If there is any creature alive under heaven or earth that should have a joyful expression it's babys!! To me, the saddest thing in the whole world is a sad baby. Or one that lacks a joyful expression. Nothing makes me more passionately vehement!

Yet, amongst this sad news, comes acknowledgement by a trusted media source that early intervention can prevent or reduce the development of Autism symptoms. While it's true that researchers strongly suggest early intervention as a key to improving the outcome for at-risk infants and toddlers, it's so reassuring to hear state it in the face of so many skeptics who deny that fact. The Austism community has long held the view that at-risk children can be prevented from becoming fully autistic through early assistance and strong intervention, such as GF/CF diet or parental interaction exercises. To see it in print in a mainstream magazine is not a little victory.

Now, speaking of autism, as you can often find me doing, has anyone else seen this post, of Jason McElwain, the autistic high schooler from New York, who scored 20 points in four minutes during is one and only stint in his team's high school basketball game? What an awesome kid. You have to watch this! I cried. Yeah, I do that a lot though.

Ok, so on to wrapping things up. Before I go, I am lifting up a challenge to myself, at the prompting of the Lord through the words of others and the conviction in my own heart. To start writing again.

I've been hearing a lot lately, and from varied sources, that I need to start writing, and I don't just mean here, on my blog. I know they're only recycling what my Jesus in my heart tells me all the time, yet it's a message I can't seem to ignore lately.

Even the UCE, an accomplished writer himself, said something along those lines recently, when he wrote me on Facebook and said:

"On a semi-related note, why didn't i know you had a blog?"

Ummmm, maybe because I never told you, so I could write about you on it.

"I hope you don't feel like I was peeking into your head or anything,",

Yeah, I kind of did.

"But I have a couple things to say: 1. For what its worth, I'm sorry about being the UCE. It was never my intention to make you feel unappreciated or ignored. You deserved better than I gave you - and I'm not just saying that because (censored for privacy's sake) - I'm saying it to my friend Trinette, who I wronged. I am sorry. 2. You're a hell of a writer. You should write more. You have a tremendous talent for making me smile, and making me feel what you feel when you write. (I should know, I spent the last hour reading this stuff) You are self depreciating without being self-pitying, tremendously entertaining, and incredibly brave in your honesty, and thats incredibly cool. You have great tastes, and keep me interested enough to read the next posts - even when I know they're about shoes . . . Well done. Seriously."

Ok, so I didn't have to post the first thing he wrote. I know that. But after spending about two years of my life caring deeply about this guy, holding out for him to change his mind about what was going on with us, then being led on and crushed more than a few times, as well as the 100% confirmed, official, world's worst Valentines Day e-card, I kind of am thinking he deserved it just a tad. He's a solid guy, really, and a fantastic writer, and I used to be just crazy about him. But he's right, I deserve better. And well maybe so does he.

Anyways, he is a guy who's opinion I value very much, and who's taste I find darn near awesome! Culturally, he's everything I wish I could be, and so to have him critique my writing so favorably was a huge compliment for me. One ladled with meaning and one I don't take lightly. J - for that, thank you.

Then, in the last week, two other wonderful women of God have reiterated the same thought - you should be writing. I went to bed all hopped up on Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi last night, and didn't get a wink of sleep thinking about all the things I want to write about, and all I have to share. And yes, my new crush. But seriously, this writing thing - I can't get it out of my head!

I made the confession to one of my friends yesterday that the reason I don't write seriously is because I feel I don't know how, and am too lazy or scared to do anything about it. No sooner did I post that on my facebook status this morning than the husband of an old friend emailed me to say he's teaching Creative Writing classes this month in Stillwater? What??? Really God? Awesome!

This is a huge challenge for me, and one that I'm willing to take. After spending the last few months asking God to show me my gifts (I've got to be able to do more than just cook), and to show me how someone as craptastic as me could possibly glorify Him, I'm starting to see that when we ask, He answers. And I can't deny His voice.

So I want to do this. I want to learn, and to be heard. I have a story to tell, and I'm not sure what it is. If it's about me, then whoah, I can't do this in my own strength and without being broken and humbled. I really don't want to. But, if it's to just tell young women, whom I have such a strong heart for, how wonderful they are in God's eyes, how He dances over them with joy, how He cherishes their attention, then I embrace it wholeheartedly. I just ask the Lord to please tell me the story, and let me listen hard enough, eyes squinting closed, to hear it and tell it right.

I thrill at the prospect of a life filled with meaning. Maybe the crush does like me. Maybe one day I will be a real writer. Maybe one day I can change the life of just one child with autism, preferably my own nephew's. There's so much potential floating out there in the world, like specks of dust in a hazy summer light. I want to run and catch it all in my arms, and whatever I end up with is good enough for me, oh my.

1 comment:

Heather said...

So happy.