It’s summer, and we are celebrating. For one, I finally finished all my spring cleaning projects, clearing my house of old furniture, toddler toys and no-longer-fitting clothes (for the kids and me). For another, Logan finished preschool and is looking ahead to kindergarten.
I’m still in awe of how far he’s come, from a fully special ed class two years ago to a fully mainstream room this fall. His IEP calls for just roughly 15 minutes per day of support, which seems like nothing. This is definitely a reason to celebrate.
And that feeling of “awe,” — as well as renaming this blog — is well-timed. Coincidentally, just the other day I saw an article in The New York Times called “Why Do We Experience Awe?” The answer, say the two psychologists who wrote the piece, is that awe “imbues people with a different sense of themselves, one that is smaller, more humble and a part of something larger.” According to the writers’ research, people experience awe for very important reasons. Awe brings us out of own self-absorption and closer to humanity-at-large; it’s a feeling that connects us with something bigger than ourselves.
Which is exactly what I feel looking at Logan and the progress he’s made. We are so lucky he is who he is–which is just what other parents (special needs or not) think, too. Were it not for having a child with autism, I never would have stumbled on to stories of adaptive ballet recitals, tween physics geniuses, or entrepreneurs with autism. We are a part of something bigger, and sometimes, it just feels good to celebrate that.
The article on awe ends with an argument our society is “awe deprived.” A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that people who experienced awe even for a few minutes were more likely to help out a stranger; in short, awe makes everyone more cooperative and more altruistic. The writers urge readers to experience more awe every day.
Lucky for me, I have my own source of awe right at home. If awe is defined as “that often-positive feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends our understanding of the world,” it shares common ground with autism. Both have most definitely transformed the world for me.
To celebrate the summer and all its awe-someness, I made popsicles (yes, I made them all by myself!) Tweaking a parfait recipe from Tula’s Coco Keifer, I made a frozen treat my kids both loved.
- 2 cups of CocoYo (I used 1 jar, divided)
- 1/4 cups fresh Bing cherries, pits removed
- 1 tsp gelatin
- 3 tablespoons Lakanto
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest (I didn’t measure this; I just grated a bit that looked good)
Blend 1 cup CocoYo and cherries in one mixing bowl. Next, blend 1 cup CocoYo, Lakanto, lemon juice and lemon zest in another bowl.
Boil water and mix in gelatin; when dissolved, add half to the cherry bowl and half to the lemon bowl. Blend each again.
Spoon cherry mixture into popsicle molds until half-full; finish with lemon mixture. Freeze.
Makes 4 popsicles