I decided to make a simpler variation to the cake on the cover.
A basic strawberry shortcake.
I started by baking my cakes...
and letting them cool.
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup full fat buttermilk
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms and sides of cake pans. Line bottom with parchment paper and grease the paper.
2) Cream butter, 2/3 cup sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.
3) In separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add to batter, alternating with buttermilk in 2 or 3 additions.
4) Divide batter evenly into the pans. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until done. Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto wire racks. Carefully peel off the paper and allow to cool completely.
If you read my blog, you know that my son has an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
As a general rule, I don't like feeling sorry for myself.
And I don't like people feeling sorry for me.
But lately life has been difficult.
Gabe, my son, has started to have several new "issues".
He has developed Tourette's.
On top of eveything else (Autism, ADHD...).
He clears his throat constantly, and makes horrible choking, gaging sounds.
It doesn't stop.
Unless he is sleeping.
Sometimes I can tune it out, but most of the time I can't.
I want to cry all the time when he is home.
The poor kid CAN"T stop doing this.
I feel horrible...
because I am loosing it...
I don't want to yell, or get agitated,
but I do.
Hour after hour...
gaging and choking.
I know he can't help it,
and I feel soooo bad for him.
(and, shamefully, for myself)
I give him cough drops, and water and rub his neck and shoulders.
We do "dots and squeezies" (a pressure exercise).
He talks to himself, and makes weird sounds...
Like a cognitively impaired person would.
He is impaired!
But we have had such a great past few years.
To have seen him before, you may never have know anything was wrong.
But not anymore...
We sit in church and he gags and chokes and clears his throat.
He blurts things out.
I feel people looking at us,
not in a bad way,
but I want to scream
"HE HAS AUTISM!!!"
Sitting through the Easter Vigil, where my wonderful husband was baptised, was painful.
It was late at night, and Gabe was tired.
They turned off the lights.
Then the worst episode of throat clearing began.
My in-laws sat with him in the pew behind me.
I held back the tears...
until my throat ached, and my eyes burned.
I did not want to ruin my husband's day.
I prayed for it to stop,
for him to be okay.
He came to sit by me...
He wanted his mommy...
and I felt like such a jerk.
I wanted to be alone.
But I held him, and rubbed his back, and rocked back and forth in the pew.
I was hoping he would fall asleep.
As I write this I feel a tremendous guilt about that.
I always find myself saying (and usually genuinely feeling), that I wouldn't want him any other way than the way he was given to me.
Right now I want him to be normal.
I want to know what it is like to have a "normal" 9-year-old boy.
I want HIM to know what it's like to be a normal 9-year-old boy.
And, again, I feel horrible about it.
I hate it when people tell me that God meant for me to be his mother.
It makes me angry!
It never used to.
I used to be flattered.
My house is a disaster.
I didn't play with my daughter today.
I let her watch television instead.
I was going to cook an elaborate dinner,
but couldn't find the ambition.
I'll be better tomorrow...
or next week.
I always am.