Today marks four weeks since Jacob has not attended his day program. The first two were our choice. Social distancing was to be observed along with consistent hand washing. Two things that seem next to impossible for him. The second two weeks were because his center officially closed. Until further notice.
In the https://problemfreephilosophy.blog/2020/04/02/not-being-able-to-speak/ post, I suggested that he’d been doing really well. He is such a homebody. I wish he were more social, but his anti-social temperament has been working to his (and our) advantage. Some of my friends, with sons and daughters enrolled in the same program, have been telling me they are having a much harder time. Needing to see their pals. Requesting PEOPLE for a birthday present.
Jacob probably misses some of the folks more than I give him credit for. I know he is fond of staff members and goes looking for them to hang out in their offices. But overall, bouncing on his bed just has more appeal!
We were rocking along fine until this past week. For several days he was just off. Unsettled. Dissatisfied. Restless. Demanding. Relentless. Seemed whatever I offered, wasn’t ‘it’. He’d pick a DVD only to decide seconds later he didn’t want that one. Same thing with a meal or snack. Nothing I could do or suggest was acceptable.
I mentioned going outside with me to swing. He immediately headed out the door but before I could even clear the leaves off, he was back inside. More than once, we’d suggest going for a ride. It’s something he usually likes to do. Quickly and adamantly, he’d let us know he wasn’t interested.
Ordinarily, I am long on patience but it was shrinking by the day. I had to ask myself if he was bored. Maybe he didn’t feel good. Perhaps he was missing his routine. Needed a change in scenery. Probably tired of his parents! What clues were out there?
I found myself being frustrated and quick to be negative. I was short with him. I was thinking this is harder than I thought it was going to be. I was, I was, I was……. becoming a person I didn’t like.
One day as I sat mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, I saw where a friend had posted this:
If you are home today, put on your clothes! No PJs!
Wash your sheets!
Turn up the music and dance!!!
And then, I was reading in Psalms and came across these verses: Psalm 30:11-12 (The Message)
You did it: you changed wild lament (moaning)
into whirling dance;
You ripped off my black mourning band
and decked me with wildflowers.
I’m about to burst with song;
I can’t keep quiet about you.
God, my God,
I can’t thank you enough.
Between my friend and God’s word, I knew what I needed to do to get in a better place mentally! Get up. Listen for the music. Spend more time in scripture. Whirl and twirl. Burst into song!
Go ahead. It makes a world of difference. I highly recommend. And, have a feeling you will be smiling!
I made this chalkboard sign a few years ago. Nothing fancy but speaks to a positive attitude each day.
Our middle granddaughter asked me its meaning. Today is a Good Day for a Good Day! Choose to look for the good. The positive. It is there but honestly, sometimes I’m too busy moaning and miss it.
Yesterday, rather than ask Jacob if he wanted to go for a ride, I took a different approach. “Jacob, hop up. Let’s go get in the van. We are going to deliver some happiness.” Without any hesitation he went straight to the garage. We went on a three-hour tour (reminds me of the Gilligan’s Island’s theme song) dropping off goodies to family and friends. And, he thoroughly enjoyed it. Not once did he seem antsy. Not once did he want to watch a DVD. Not once did he try to unbuckle his seat belt. He was content from beginning to end.
When we took the interstate rather than back roads, there were two times that I noticed the jumbo electronic signs said, ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY. Not to make light of those that are on the front lines. With everything we have, we thank you. So many others are essential to their jobs and are required to be out. We are able to work from home. But, I do believe our excursion was essential to our mental health. We came home with more happiness than we delivered!
This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.Psalm 118:24