My father and I do not have that great relationship. I’m not even sure it could be considered good. It wasn’t always like that. As a boy, as I imagine with all boys, he was an extremely big part of my life.
I think the change started when I was six. Dad had always been there, but suddenly he wasn’t. I found out years later he had volunteered to go on TDY more often and we didn’t see him very often.
After my parents divorced we saw him even less. I think it was about once every three years. But still the relationship did not strain.
After I left home things started going home. I started to become sensitive to the negative things he would say about Mom. I made it very clear that I did no want to hear those kind of things about my mother. It was then that he started to talk about how bitter he was over the divorce. But I found out later it was his infidelity that was largely responsible for the divorce.
Even so, I love him, in spite of the many broken promises, and the unkind words, not toward me but to my brother. I try to maintain that relationship, but whenever we speak it feels strained.
I am envious of those who have great relationships with their fathers and those whose parents love the Lord. For this reason, I pray to be the father my children that my father never was to me. I pray to be the father that God wants all fathers to be.
When last we spoke, we had been left with the possibility that Katie might be autistic. Or at least that's what the therapist was thinking. Well we cancelled the next appointment with the therapist, not because it was something we didn't want to hear, but because we had a meeting with Katie's neurologist about her seizures. He also handles ADHD. We told him what the therapist said. I think that's the first time I've ever seen a doctor roll his eyes. Apparently that's the "in thing." well we don't want Katie to have the "in thing." We would really rather she just be a normal little girl.
Dr. F. (The neurologist) prescribed an extremely small dose of medicine and a week later we are seeing a different child. She is much more focused than I could have hoped and is not bouncing off the walls nearly as much. I say thank God for Dr. F.
We have known for some time that Katie has some problems that are manifesting themselve in her school work. When a child can read a sentene extremely well one minute and the next minute it appears to be Greek, there is definitely a problem. In order to be good parents, we sought help from our primary care physician, who then gave us a set of questionaires (one for us and one for her teacher) to fill. Based upon the results of those, she referred us to a child psychologist.
There was some difficulty getting in to see her, because she preferred to make her own appointments. So it was a while before she returned my call, I had almost given up hope. We took Katie to see her and then the tests began. Being an extremely (and I do mean extremely active) six year old, there was difficulty in getting her to sit for any length of time. They really should see her at home. The phrase bing-bing-bing comes to mind. If you don't understand the phrase then you either: don't have children or have very placid children.
The day of reckoning came last Wednesday, the results from the tests. One of the first words I remeber hear was "quirky." The doctor appeared to think Katie had "quirky" behavior. I don't think I've ever heard that word in modern conversation. I would have to agree that there is a quirkiness to Katie, but I don't necessarily think that's a negative. I love her personality and the way she just loves everyone, we all could learn from that.
Then came the word "autistic." I could tell you I was floored, but it would be a lie. It had crossed my mind once or twice, but never really settled in. I'll confess I didn't know what being autistic really meant. This was not necessarily a diagnostic at this point, but it needs to be ruled out.
I've since done some research and I'm going to have to say, I don't see it. It's not because I don't want to, but autism appears to be social disorder wherein the child has difficulty in social settings. That doesn't appear to be Katie's problem, her problem as I see it is difficulty in focusing. That appears to be more of an ADHD type of issue.
I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I do know my child. I would appreciate your prayers, particularly that I would be a help and champion for Katie, in addition to a good and godly father.