Saying that I've been busy the past several months is putting it mildly. I feel like the Dunkin' Donuts™ man in the retro TV commercial, meeting myself coming and going. There have been health fair events to attend where I represent either CTAN (my group) or Texas Parent to Parent. Radio Interviews for book promotion fill my mornings in addition to the duties as editor-in-chief for DWB, and content editing work for Texas Parent to Parent in the evening.
But I'm not complaining...not a bit. I love for my mind to be challenged--it keeps me out of mischief, and believe me, that's a good thing. Writing/editing is my passion as is advocating for special needs people and their families (the latter will always have my heart).
But both consume much of my time. I didn't realize how much until I passed my younger son Joseph in hallway this week. "Do I know you?" he demanded. Children on the autism spectrum have a tendency to say what's on their mind with little thought to their words' emotional impact.
Those four words where like arrows through my heart, causing a little more damage with every syllable. What hurt the most though, was his physical appearance. His hazel eyes, so like mine, still had a bit of child-like innocence, but was being replaced with restlessness, something I knew to be the result of wanting to make his own decisions...to fly solo. He now stood shoulder-high to me, and his shoulders were broadening.
It seemed like yesterday he was tagging after me, begging to be taken to the little store down the road. Most of the time I'd been too busy. Now the requests were more infrequent, and suddenly I felt like a candidate for "worst mother of the year."
"Umm...hey buddy, you wanna go to the store?" I offered, contemplating buying out the entire chicken section (Joseph's favorite aisle) of the deli if my child said "yes."
Joseph chewed his thumbnail and thought a minute. "Naw, I'd rather bake something with you." Baking together as a family is something we did when he was small. I was thrilled he still wanted to spend time in the kitchen with me.
As parents, we are teachers for our children-instilling ethics, respect, and confidence. My father taught me many life lessons before he died--most of which I implement. But he was a work-aholic, separating himself on the ranch from my mother and I from dawn until after dark. And I missed him dearly.
But sometimes it's better for parents to be the students. Joseph has taught me that life is short and it's to be enjoyed with family. And that children would rather have a parent's time than all of the most precious possessions in the world.
I wish I could have taught that lesson to my father.
Joseph and I are adventurous in the kitchen, and on this occasion we wanted to create a chocolate chip cookie with a different "spin" on it. After some research, here's what we created.
Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies
Makes Approximately 2 dozen.
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup coconut palm sugar
- ½ cup white pure cane sugar
- 1 stick butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup tahini
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ¾ cups Bob’s Red Mill™ 1-1 Baking Flour (gluten-free)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream together the first six ingredients until well combined.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and then stir in the chocolate chips. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
Using a tablespoon, form balls of dough and place them on a lightly greased baking sheet 2” to 3” apart.
Bake 14-15 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. Allow the cookies to cool thoroughly before removing them from the baking sheet.