Even the most well behaved and peaceful children can be challenging at times but when a child makes a left turn instead of a right in the story of life, things can be just downright overwhelming. A while ago my youngest child took a left instead of a right. I’m not sure when it exactly happened or what it could have been caused by but nonetheless, she is way down the wrong path and I’m by her side looking around thinking to myself “Where the f*ck are we?” It’s an awful feeling, knowing that something is “wrong” with your child. You get it from friends, family, teachers – “Oh she is just going through growing pains…oh it’s just a tantrum…oh she’ll out grow it.” It’s not growing pains, it’s not a tantrum, and she will not outgrow it. I’ve known that for some time but whether it is denial or my inability to cope, I didn’t want to deal with it. I take my kids to the doctors when they are seriously bleeding or if something is broken. I don’t pour over medical journals or over analyze their behaviors; I follow my instinct and just give them space to grow. So, I find myself sitting in her psychiatrist’s office again (yes my 5 year old has a psychiatrist, although I’m the one who probably needs one this time.) We are here for our weekly meeting about her behavior and mood swings (it's gotten bad to worse in the last couple weeks, they have this stupid little behavior form to fill out which is not at all age appropriate for a 5 year old but I do my best, 40 is having some issues, she scored a 90, not a happy moment, I digress). Anyway, he looks at me and says I don’t know what’s going on yet, it could be a number of things but I will tell you that her behavior is not normal, is not typical, and there is definitely something going on here. My instinct is to yell “duh” and then of course I start crying. He starts to reassure me “It will be ok, lots of kids have problems, it’s not your fault and you are doing the right thing blah blah blah.” And I try to tell him, between sobs “I don’t care if she has “issues,” lots of kids have issues, lots of adults have issues, we will deal with the issues, I’m just so relieved that I’m not crazy, that this isn’t in my head, that my kid is not ok, but now we know that and we can figure out what she needs to be ok. “ It was a heartbreaking but a very freeing moment. It’s like the elephant in the room, you wonder if it’s your imagination, nobody talks about, nobody looks at it, and then some guy walks in and says “Dude, there’s an elephant in here.” I felt scared but very relieved; yes it is an elephant, thank you for saying that. Now how are we going to get it out of here? Yes, our family has some gone through some serious transitions over the last couple months but that is not the root of the problem, it doesn’t help but it’s not the issue, I don’t know what the issue is but I’m hoping to one day soon find out. In the meantime, I am just thanking my lucky stars for being unemployed and having the opportunity to spend so much more time with her now. I wonder how much longer the elephant would have been standing in the room before I took notice. Things happen for a reason, sudden and traumatic unemployment has allowed me an opportunity to take a hard look at my life and family and realize they need me right now more than ever.
Pink Lemon Sorbet – We’ve been on an ice cream kick lately, we went dairy free a couple months ago due to various health issues and I’ve had fun experimenting with all sorts of fun flavors. This one is not so exciting but very delicious. In a saucepan on the stove, combine and bring to a boil 3 cups of water and 1 cup of preferably organic sugar. Remove from heat and add approximately ¾ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice and a little zest if you want some more zing! In the meantime, in your blender or food processor, mix up 4 or 5 whole strawberries (leaves and all (excellent source of vitamin c)) and process until smooth. Pour strawberry mixture into lemon mixture, stir well and chill. You can then put this in your ice cream maker or just stick it in the freezer and stir periodically. Simple and delish!