As school is starting and summer is closing, I’m confronted with a very real and very ugly truth. I am a coronavirus jerk / quarantine jerk. There. I said it.
At the beginning, I did very much enjoy having the extra time with my children to lazily flow from one day to the next. Maybe we did all day school, maybe we had a spa day with homemade masks- Hey! There’s chemistry in that, right?!
So, now we are 5 months deep into this Coronavirus thing and something changed about a month ago. The mom that always said yes turned into one that always said no. I am constantly exhausted and overwhelmed. Noise bothers me more than it used to. The incessant chatter of my tween is downright painful. My patience has taken a vacation (hopefully not permanently but this thing left and hasn’t shown even an inkling of coming back). I’m easily aggravated, more angry and everything glides on my last nerve until it breaks. And, to put it in context, it could be a solid 7:30 AM when this happens.
The thought of schooling at home is a splash of ice water on the face. It’s the wake up call that I need to pull it together.
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But, the resentment of not having space and freedom in even just a little capacity is overwhelming. I have read all about self care – I enjoy doing that every now and again so I am reminded that other people can do it but I seemingly can’t. I have read countless articles explaining tips to keep your sanity during Coronavirus, but I don’t know if it’s because mine has exited the building or what? But, none of the options even seem doable.
New studies have shown that anxiety is higher and they expect separation anxiety to be a factor for kids, parents and even pets. I see people lose their cool at seemingly nothing. Facebook is a minefield. Everyone seems to teeter on the edge and some don’t mind providing that little nudge for others to jump off.
I’m aggravated this isn’t over. I’m irritated at the whiplash of information everyday. I’m sad for the world. The input is just so much.
What is the solution? Spoiler Alert- I don’t have one. But, I offer a perspective brought into my sight line by a seemingly insignificant event.
Today, I took my son to speech therapy as I do most days. He found a ladybug that was hanging out on his shirt and was instantly ecstatic about the visitor. I saw him light up in a way that is seldom seen in a child with autism. He named his ladybug Fizzy. He went into speech with her attached to his shirt.
Now, I don’t know what the future holds for Fizzy and Sam but I do know that I felt joy I hadn’t seen in a while inside my heart.
Will I still feel all the same things I felt before? Yes, Fizzy isn’t magical after all. But, for a brief time, I was relieved from all other distractions to notice his happiness.
Maybe, I’ve been so focused on all the negativity that I closed myself off to simple beauty. So, I’m trying that next. To be more observant as I walk down this path. Who knows what I might see? Or, the effect on my outlook it might have? Maybe it’ll even inspire me to open the world’s first ladybug adoption center. The possibilities are endless.
I stand here to encourage all to find that joy because it’s gone out of so many people and situations. And, we are worse, as a society, because of it…. Coronavirus.
Maybe the in between moments are what we get? Maybe that’s the big take away? It’s not for forever but for right now.
I’ve been so laser focused on being excited for later and the future that I’ve shut down the opportunity for the brief and fleeting moments.
Because, in the end, that’s all we have. These flashes of our kid’s toothless grins, their happiness at things that long ago lost their ability to be special to us, the last time we get to do something and don’t know it’s the last time and all the other important seconds muddled and mixed together to bring us to each new day. To each new year. To each season of life.
We know time is a thief. Especially with Coronavirus stealing our joy. So, whether you are angry or happy, you still trade minutes of your life for it. And, if you’re lucky that’s all you will lose. If you aren’t, the memories of what once was may not have had the opportunity to soak up and keep your babies suspended in these ages, stages and moments. You may not get to have that clear picture of the day a ladybug named Fizzy came to remind you of when your son was 7 years and 3 weeks old and still winked at you before he let go of your hand.
Photo Credit :: Lindsay Herkert Photography