Many smiles and giggles, and laughs, but the crying screams, those get me. The days are long, the nights are short, and my thoughts are tired. My boy is sad. Owen repeated the words “stay home” for almost two hours before he fell asleep. I guess I’ve said it one too many times. I felt like I was listening to an advisory board of what we should be doing, stay home, stay home, stay home. I’ve tried to explain it to him in words that will help him, but my terms are not explaining the magnitude of what’s going on and why we are doing what we are doing. He doesn’t like to look at pictures or storyboards right away, so explaining it to him with pictures takes him a while to grasp. I’ve had a dry erase calendar out for him for months, explaining what his schedule was and where he was going. Until a few weeks ago he wanted nothing to do with it. He would wipe off the days with his hand as he walked by it. We would talk about it every few days but his foot would slam the ground, hands to his ears, and scream if I tried to explain anything about it. When the quarantine first began he started looking at it more. His teacher had sent home papers about the days of the week and that seemed to finally put everything in perspective to him. Then it was fine for him to use the calendar. As time wears on he hasn’t wanted to look at the calendar again. Nothing is on it. But I still check off the days for him. Insert big breath here. His concerns for how I look have been the main focus again. I have to wear the right clothes at the right times. There are home clothes and going out clothes. These rules were set in place before I realized they were rules. I would change into comfy clothes when we came home, that’s all it took. I remember one night I was holding him and he wet through our clothes. I had to change us both. I didn’t think about it, I just changed. Hours later he finally calmed down after I put the right combination of clothes on. He doesn’t want me to take off my “summer glasses”, all glasses are summer glasses and I can’t pull back my hair, although we are working through that one a little more. I hear people talking about the masks, that everyone should wear one when they go out. Tears float in my eyes thinking about the distress this would cause Owen if I even tried to walk around with a mask. I have to be the picture of mommy. I can’t change my looks without him going through many emotions or major meltdowns. Even certain foods in my mouth are a cause for an inspection of what I’m doing or a full screaming fest if I don’t show him what I’m eating, especially something like a hard candy or throat lozenges. So a mask would not go over well at all. I try to practice different scenarios with him because life happens when you have something else planned but he still needs to see the picture of me. It’s how he processes his world and others. And all I want to do is make it easier for him. I want him to know I’m here to help guide him through the twists and turns of life. I tell him I love him as many times as I can. Hoping to reassure him that even during these rocky times that nothing is routine for him I will still be with him. Through the challenges of the day always remember you are not alone and tomorrow there will be sunshine even after the rain. Find your strength and keep pushing forward. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I'm Lynn Browder. Owen's Mommy. The best moments in time are when I get to see the smile on his face and that giggle come from his heart.