Family life is an interesting topic and its interplay with other aspects of life is always complicated. Not necessarily a bad complicated but family life is intertwined in every other aspect in such a way that it cannot be untangled from them. As any parent and most adults know, sometimes decisions have to be made that best serve the family rather than the other aspects of life first. That brings me to my own discernment the past few weeks.
A few weeks ago, after a neuropsychological testing over the summer, my oldest child, my precious daughter Ruby, was diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental visual processing disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. The first has been with her since birth and it’s the one that makes me cry. Nine years ago today, I was joyously awaiting her arrival. Her room was all painted and decorated and I spent a lot of time in there, I could feel her move and kick, I cradled her with my arm around my belly, I was so excited to meet her. I couldn’t have known then that her brain would not process visual information correctly or what that would mean for her. I wouldn’t know what it would mean for me or my family then. I’m still excited to meet her now, on the brink of her ninth birthday and now that we have this information about her, I’m excited to see how she approaches the world anew once therapy helps her process visual information correctly, or at least better. It’ll be like meeting her all over again.
The second diagnosis is the more difficult one. This one will require so much work from my husband, Jess, and I and from Ruby and it will take more time than I think I can handle. Of course, I can handle it, you learn how to handle it, but it will be anything but a walk in the park. A marathon actually sounds like less work and time than this will be. But that’s how it is. We’ll all be stronger and more agile and better equipped. You think I’m strong now? Just wait.
I’ve asked for prayers on Twitter recently and this is what they center around. I’m tired of being strong and always believing and being unbreakable. My daughter’s diagnoses have broken me. I’m not strong. I’m not unbreakable. I need a savior and I need Him to come swiftly. Your prayers have lifted me up to Him when I couldn’t get there myself. I was like the paralyzed man on the mat and you were like the friends who found some wacky way to make sure I got to Jesus, no matter what. I’m going to need a lot more of that in the near future.
Ruby is going to need a psychiatrist (we’ve found a really wonderful one who specializes in working with people and children with special needs), a vision therapist (we’ve found one who has an incredibly good reputation and who is gentle and kind), and an ABA therapist (we’re still looking as most have a 6-18 month wait list around here). This means multiple appointments and therapies outside of the home in addition to all of the work we will do as a family inside the home. Couple that with my screenwriting course that starts on Monday, plus all of the normal family things–– school, extracurricular activities, work, etc.–– and we are going to be very busy very soon.
So that brings us to the podcast, Up Too Late. I love doing this show. It is an absolute dream come true. And that more than 2 of you listen to it is a true and huge blessing. I am so fortunate to do what I love and to have others who enjoy it alongside me. However, with what my family is currently going through, I will be unable to keep up with the podcast at this time. At least not anywhere near weekly. Hopefully, we will settle into a new routine soon and I can reevaluate. At this time, Up Too Late will be on hiatus until approximately January 2022. Thank you for all of your support, love, and listening. I can’t wait to entertain you again and I will come back even better than before. Don’t forget about me! And tell your friends. For anyone who hasn’t listened yet and is curious, you can listen to all 26 current episodes here.
In other news, my book, A Catholic Field Guide to Fairy Tale Princesses: Modern Virtues in Tales As Old As Time, is still on track to be published on Thanksgiving of this year. So keep checking in here and on Twitter for updates on that. If you want some sneak peeks, want to support me and my family, or just like my work, become a Zoeastrian on Patreon! I try to post some new content there every week. Your support there means I can write more and not worry about my family as much. To all who are current supporters, thank you so much. I will never be able to adequately thank you for your generosity.
Please keep me and my family in your prayers, we need them desperately. And please know that you all are in mine. Catch me on Twitter for all kinds of funny and zany stuff and God bless you all.