I want cake. I want cake.
Mmmmm, more please.
Happy Birthday Wil, We love you!
Check back tomorrow for part II of Wil's big day - his first day of school!
Last night we arrived to find that Timothy had somehow managed to spill his milk from his sippy cup all over his shirt. I mean he was drenched(!) as I had filled his Nalgene cup (if, btw, you are in the market for a sippy cup you should check into these, we love them) to the max before we left home. So James took his shirt off in an attempt to dry it with the bathroom hand dryer while I got the boys settled in.
Please let me paint you the picture. I am still looking rough from my previous days illness. Cargo pants with flip flops and a button down shirt over a tank top, no make-up, air-dryed hair - which is bad news letmetellya! and here I am with a shirtless Timothy and a shoeless Wil (flat out forgot to put shoes on him) both of which are very unhappy about having to sit in high chairs rather than roam the restaurant. And Luke is playing with the condiment pumps. I am painfully aware of the looks I am receiving from the people in the booth next to our table. When James returns I go up to order for us. As I am in line a few more people come in who have no idea I am with the loud group in the corner. There were two seperate conversations going on about our family. "Are they kidding?" one woman said as Wil's screaming got louder despite James' attempt to quiet him. "Jeez, are they trying to outcry eachother?" another said, and understandably so, as W and T seemed to be in some sort of toddler screaming competition. "Great, just what we want to eat to," it went on. When our food started coming out I ran the first batch to the table so that James could get something in their mouths. Wil with his lightening speed grabbed James' burger just as he unwrapped it and hurled it to the floor. He went on to bat away the hands that were offering him food all the while crying and signing eat. I should mention we have been going through this with food, protest after protest to food that normally is well received. But we really thought a thin, cheap cheeseburger would do the trick. Timothy ate his fine but screamed nonetheless. Why? Because the food wasn't coming fast enough or maybe just to harmonize with Wil, I am not sure.
So that is how it went. We were THAT family. The loud family that others talk about, wondering why we can't control our children. The family that others see coming and switch seats. I get it. I don't want to be around screaming children either. I am generally the parent that removes my child immediately when they get loud. I am usually overly sensitive about disturbing others. But I just didn't have it in me last night. And it was McDonald's! If I can't go there with my non-compliant toddlers where, I ask you, can I go?
Yesterday when driving out of our neighborhood - still a mess from last weekend's tornado - Luke's mind started churning.
Luke: Mom, did God know that the tornado was going to come onto our street?
Here we go. Okay, no problem, I do have a masters in theology afterall. I can handle the questions of a five year old.
Me: Yes, He did. (my ususal tendency to over-explain under control at this point)
Luke: Did He send the tornado?
Me: Well, he allowed it to happen.
Luke: (sitting quietly for a moment) So, he knew it was coming and didn't stop it?
Me: That's right.
Luke: But he could have stopped it right?
Me: Yes, God is sovereign and all-powerful and He could have stopped it but He didn't and because we don't understand all the ways of God it is hard for us to understand why He didn't stop it.
Luke: Why do we have to have tornadoes at all?
Me: Do you remember Adam and Eve?
Luke: Yes . . . (and he recounts the fall of man. . . and then goes on to summarize the rest of the book of Genesis). Where did this kid come from? I barely knew my alphabet at his age? and then But if God can stop the tornado then why would he not want to do that since he loves us and made us? Why would he want our neighbors to have their house all messed up?
Me: Jaaames. . . Oh wait, he is not in the car. Who wants ice cream?
Luke: Oh, I do!
It works every time!
Turns out writing a paper on the problem of evil is easier than explaining it to this five year old.
This is what we experienced last Saturday while grilling out at my parents house nestled in the woods, surrounded by vulnerable trees. We (well, my dad) were grilling steaks as a thanks to my Aunt Tracy for keeping Wil and Timothy the previous weekend while James, Luke and I went to Gainesville to spend time with friends and attend a wedding. A bonus was that James was invited to preach at our old church. It was a special weekend for us and we enjoyed it thoroughly knowing our little guys were in such good hands with my aunt and my mom. Sorry, I'm digressing. Back to the storm.
As the steaks were grilling the storm came in and intensified quickly. We watched the weather alerts as long as we could before the electricity went out and then we were in the dark. If we hadn't had daylights savings time already it would have really been dark. But being in the home of he most prepared man on the eastern seaboard we were not worried and had radios o'plenty to keep us informed. We discussed the best place to go should a tornado form and we waited the storm out. Once the worst of it was over my dad went back to the grill and we pulled out the rest of the meal which had already been prepared. It was delish! We finished with my aunt's from scratch chocolate peanut butter cake. Also delish. We aren't sure if it was the cake or the bizarre weather that got Wil going but he quickly became the after dinner entertainment.
If there was audio with this picture you would hear Wil laughing deep from his gut. He couldn't stop, so for nearly 45 minutes he laughed. He laughed at us, he laughed at himself, he laughed at the toys, you name it. Timothy got silly too and had to resort back to crawling to escape Aunt Tracy. Luke and Gavin, after being told not to play in the swamp of a back yard as we were packing up to go, were caught playing in the swamp of a back yard. And then they did this. . .
I'm not sure if they were running to come apologize for such blatant disobedience or if they were just running away in hopes that somehow they could convince us that they weren't in the mud at all. And Luke can be very convincing even when he has been caught at something red handed!
So we head home with full bellies, ready to put the boys to bed and settle in for the night. The storm seems to have passed and apart from lots of natural debris and downed trees it wasn't so bad. Then we get to our neighborhood. As I pulled onto the street that runs perpendicular to ours I felt disoriented. There were people out roaming the neighborhood (it is pretty dark by now) and there was debris everywhere. Not just natural debris but insulation, siding, shingles, glass, trash cans and trash strewn everywhere. Men were running chainsaws through trees so we could get to our street. We drove slowly, trying to take everything in. The first thing that struck me was one of the stop signs in our neighborhood, snapped in two with a big concrete ball attached to the base. A big hole in the sidewalk nearby where it seemed to have been lifted straight up. Then we saw this. One of our neighbors, who had their house on the market.
The front of their house could be found all over the street.
Our back door neighbor lost pieces of his home as well.
And there are many more homes like his. The other bizarre thing to us was that many garage doors were crumpled and pulled in. And those homes that have crawl space experienced buckling in their hardwood floors. Evidently this is from the vacuum effect of a tornado. A number of our neighbors saw the funnel forming and bounce around the neighborhood but most told us they were sitting in an interior closet for the 5-10 minutes that it passed through and only heard it. No one in our neighborhood was hurt, just shaken. A couple of people told me that from the sound of things they fully expected to walk out of their closet into the outdoors. So, clearly it could have been a lot worse. We are fortunate not to have any damage to our home, just our yard.
And our fence. So, instead of coming home and settling in we joined those roaming the streets, met some more neighbors and heard their stories. One guy ran out to try and pull his car in the garage when a house window came hurling his way and hit his car. While he was reeling from this some random person in their car came screaming into his garage trying to get out of harms way. He said the man, whom he had never met before, just sat shaking in his car. What a way to meet your neighbor. You can't help but laugh at that imagery. Sunday was spent with the hum of chainsaws in the air and today the cleanup continues.
So while I like a good storm, this turned out to be a bit much. And we thought we left severe weather behind in Florida.
We have been fortunate to have some very supportive specialists, doctors, and therapists on Wil's team, none of which allude to a grim future for Wil. Though now that Wil is transitioning to school we have been told repeatedly by his school psychologist (the woman that leads our IEP meetings) that he scored "extremely low" on his psych eval and that he is "extremely low functioning." She tells us this with a careful, slow rhythm to her voice as if we may crack or be shocked that our son is cogvititely delayed. I'm not sure why she feels the need to remind us of this at each meeting. Maybe she is trying to keep our expectations low for Wil or maybe she thinks we are naive about Wil's abilities or maybe this is just her job. I don't know. I do know that her 45 minute interaction and experience with him does not sum up Wil's abilities. I look forward to seeing Wil surprise his IEP team.
So we had a big day around here. Luke learned to ride without training wheels and I have learned to let him.
And Wil and Timothy? They are up to the same ole' thing . . .
That is Wil's dinner plate Timothy has in his hand. In the blink of an eye Timothy, who had finished his dinner and was on his way to the bathtub, returned to the table to polish off the remainder of Wil's turkey sandwhich. And then politely handed the plate back to Wil. Maybe they have a scam going and I am just now catching on.
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