Today marks twelve weeks since Jacob has been home. His day program didn’t close until nine weeks ago. But, I kept him home initially because he was struggling with the time change. And then just knowing he couldn’t abide by social distancing and washing his hands appropriately was reason enough to keep him in.
There’s a reason we don’t know the future. Agree? If someone had said, ‘listen, the state is about to shut down. Schools will close. There’ll be travel restrictions. No movie theaters, eating out, etc.’, would I have kept Jacob home starting the 5th of March? Probably. Though there has never been a time, before, when Jacob was basically home-bound for three months! And in the current situation, we are, for the most part, home-bound with him. There wasn’t really anywhere to go anyway so it worked out fine.
Here’s the deal though, Jacob has been a champion! In the first few weeks, sweet friends would reach out, “how are y’all managing? Is Jacob doing okay?” “I know this is hard, what can we do for y’all?” Jacob was made for this! In the April 9th blog post #stayhomeflattenthecurve, I mentioned how his anti-social temperament is working to his advantage right now. And what helps him, helps us.
What does he do all day everyday? If you’ve followed this blog long, you probably know the answer to that. Keyboard, MP3 player, musical toys, videos, television, snack, eat, and snack some more. Often, I’ll check him on the video monitor and he will be bouncing on his bed! He has been most content. When he is content, so are we.
There have been a few times when I definitely felt like he was tired of us. And, honestly I’ve been tired of him. But 99% of the time, we have gotten along great. In the first month, there was only togetherness. I got out of the house maybe 2 times for a short period of time. Next month a few more times. In these three months, he has seen a sitter twice, his grandparents from a distance, once; taken a neighborhood stroll, and various scenery from rides to get out of the house. No wonder he is tired of us!
Two weeks ago, I hit a wall. I was spent physically and mentally. It was maybe, maybe the third time in 12 weeks that I had the thought, “I’m not sure how much longer I can do this.” I’ve been doing ‘this’ for 4 decades but not under the current guidelines. I had to allow myself a break. Thankfully Mike has been working from home and we can tag team when needed. It feels odd to schedule a best time for me to run an errand so he can watch Jacob, but hey, at least errands are ‘okay’ at this point in the game.
We have so very much to be thankful for in this uncharted territory: 1) we are not alone. All of our family and friends are also learning a new normal. 2) we have everything we need with food to spare. Our jobs look different but we still have tasks to complete and people who rely on us. 3) technology has enabled good ways to connect that help combat feelings of isolation. I am making it a priority to Zoom with friends and FaceTime with family on a weekly basis. Social media has provided platforms for Bible Study, learning, and needed challenges to stretch and grow us. 4) the slower pace has afforded time to finish projects and learn new skills. I can’t rush Jacob no matter how hard I try and now I haven’t had to! 5) my dear fella has been exactly where he is most happy. His own little space surrounded by things that bring him joy and parents who are making the most of this season in our lives.
This week we went riding two days in a row to deliver some sweet treats to friends. Sometimes on these excursions, he is happy just looking out the windows. Sometimes, he requests a DVD to watch. The first day was literally 3 hours making 9 stops. He watched the DVD, SING, through twice even humming along during parts. It was a great outing that he enjoyed from beginning to end.
The second day we needed to finish what we started. I ask if he wanted to go for a ride and he jumped up and headed for the door. That day we had 4 stops to make. About half way through, I saw him do this:
Bless his heart, he was over going for a ride! We made a point the get him burgers and fries (making it a 5th stop) as he had been a really great sport.
All that to say, I might have freaked out if I had known we would be together for 12 weeks, at home, with little outside activity. I am surprised at how well we’ve managed! We’ve just gotten word that his day program is open and ready when we are. Again, not sure how that will work for Jacob, but I am up for whatever the next 12 weeks bring because that sweetheart son of mine has been better than okay.