Sunday, August 12, 2007


My brother took the girls to the circus today. This is an annual outing that the girls really look forward to, and afterwards talk about, until the next year's outing.

Today, my usual routes to get the girls from here to there were all closed, so I ended up going the "long way."

The "long way" included a stretch of highway that I drove for two years between our home and the therapy center where both girls had ABA therapy. As we drove "the long way" to my brother's house today, we passed a faded IHOP billboard featuring a tall stack of pancakes.

I had forgotten about this billboard until we passed it today.

For two years, Abby had to see this roadside pictorial. When I say she had to see it, I mean she HAD to see it.

It was part of our driving ritual for Abby to spot this billboard. If she missed it for any reason, I had to take the next exit, loop around, re-enter the highway and drive past it again so that she could call out, "PANCAKES!" Otherwise the remaining three miles were comprised of extreme shrieking and tantruming.

Why Abby needed this billboard of pancakes was always a mystery. She had never eaten at IHOP and didn't like pancakes. Nonetheless, this billboard remained a huge thorn for a year and some change.

Today when we drove past it, inexplicably and for what remains an unidentifiable reason, I burst into tears. Huge, messy sobbing tears.

It was so bizarre. I could no more tell you then, than I can now, why that sun bleached billboard featuring a stack of pancakes created such a reaction in me, anymore than I could tell you why that billboard, though brighter at the time, consistently provoked a similar reaction in Abby for two years.

Autism is so weird.

"Can you fathom the mysteries of God?
Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?

They are higher than the heavens—what can you do?
They are deeper than the depths of the grave—what can you know?"

Job 11:7-8


Blogger Bonnie Arnwine said...

Its so hard to live with a constant level of stress. I find myself inexplicably crying from time to time too. :-)

11:50:00 AM  
Blogger Shawn and Jami said...

Hey, it is so good to see the girls! I cannot wait to squeeze little Abby...I have to confess, that is one of the reasons that I am so looking forward to the first day of school. There are those children that God gives you for just a short time but they will always be a part of your heart. Abby is one of those for me. Hope your summer has been a god one. Looking forward to squeezing your neck soon! Blessings!

11:14:00 PM  

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