I’ve been home for too long
I recently confessed in my previous blog that I do not like to do imaginative play with my child. I know, maybe I shouldn’t say this out loud, but then again, this is exactly why I should say this out loud. I have been home with my son nearly every day, all day, since March 12. When the real news of the Coronavirus came out, I called his Cardiologist to see if he was considered high risk for severe complications due to his congenital heart condition, and when her reply was uncertain, I became uncertain. She did a wonderful job explaining the importance of taking all precautions, including keeping him away from sick, coughing, sneezing toddlers, but I had to laugh at that. He goes to school, kids are sneezing, coughing, eating boogers all day long. How do I keep him away from this and keep his hands out of his mouth or off of his face, he is 2 years old? The answer was simple and clear, I pulled him from school.
It’s a day I won’t forget
It was a Thursday. I remember I was driving to work after I dropped my son off at school and called my supervisor in a near panic internally, but staying calm externally. She was supportive and amazing as always, but the whole time I am thinking, “what am I doing?” I didn’t think I should be driving to work. I work in schools. I had to evaluate one of those sneezing, coughing, booger eating children while my son was around them, and was one of them, all day. He was healthy on that Thursday and I prayed I could keep him that way. I made it back to him that day, gathered all of his belongings, and that was it. That was his last day of school.
He got sick anyway
I didn’t know it at the time, but the following Wednesday, all schools throughout WI would be cancelled. He didn’t know why he wasn’t seeing his friends and his teachers any more. I tried my best to explain it to him, but I didn’t know all the answers either. When he got sick with what was likely a typical cold, I had to throw all my energy into remaining calm and quiet my mind that told me if he got COVID19, it would be my fault. Week by week we all learned more information. It became easier to explain and talk about. With more answers and less uncertainty, a base level of understanding was born. But it still doesn’t feel good to hear my son ask “when the Coronavirus is done….” followed by something he wants to do but knows the answer is no. Or now when he says “why is the Coronavirus back again? That’s so weird.” And I desperately want to explain more to him, to tell him it’s never been gone and it’s not going away any time soon. I want to complain about the lack of the way our country is handling it. Not just our government, but every single person, including me, because we each have our own interpretation of how to handle it with the information we have.
It is no one’s fault and everyone’s fault
I am not one to blame or criticize or judge anyone else, especially our government. But I really really want to have someone to blame for my son, now 3 yo, not being able to play with his friends. Not being able to explore and visit museums and travel like I thought I would with him this summer. I especially want to blame someone for not teaching me how to handle this. There is simply no one person or group to blame. There is no one person I can point fingers at. Each of us are just doing our best with the information we have. We each have to make our own decisions on how we are going to live our lives now...while making sure our choices first “do no harm.” I, for one, am not going to be the one who refuses to stay home or socially distance or not wear a mask because it is my right. Seriously? I may be sick and not know it or never have any symptoms, but that doesn’t mean I should sacrifice my 91 year old neighbor’s health because it isn’t affecting me. I LIVEfor... community. I live for people, family, friends and socialization. Equality. And we all deserve to keep on living AND loving life. We just have to live more responsibly. Take control where we can and accept where we can’t. Take care of each other.
I just can’t anymore
I am a little tired of being my son’s only playmate, but it is up to me how I handle that. I am lucky to have a job where I am off in the summers and have the time to be with him, but I never planned on literally staying at home for all of that time. Now that I am, for my health and safety, for my son’s, and for every vulnerable person out there, I have to remember this is my choice. I am choosing to stay home. No one is forcing me to do this. Sure I wish I could go somewhere and the truth is, I can. There are many things open, but most of the things open are too crowded for my own comfort. Reminding myself I am choosing to stay home has made all the difference in my mental sanity through this. This one mindset shift is what I needed to stop complaining and feeling sorry for myself. To stop reacting to Bekytt’s every plea to play with him all day long. I am home because I believe this is the safest place for us. I am not working, but I have plenty of work I want to be doing. I want to read. Write. Connect with people through social media. Grow as a human being. I miss learning something new and I want to really take a shot at photography. I can choose to do these things right now and also not scar my son for life. I hope.
The overdue echo is finally here
Today, I will find out if my son’s heart condition needs to be treated with another heart surgery. I am scared, terrified actually. I can feel the lump in my chest just typing it now. I do have a strong belief that everything is going to be fine. That he is healthy and happy and that he will not need surgery. But there is a chance he might. And instead of just focusing on the fears of the actual surgery itself, I now have the added fear about making the choice to do it now, soon, or wait for the “coronavirus to be done,” as my son would say. I just know the truth, and I know it is not going to be “done” anytime soon. So while I await the results of his echo, I will breathe. I will remember I am choosing to be home. I am thankful to be home. I am happy to be home. I can be with my son and still not play with him every second of the day. That whether he needs surgery or not, I am going to do the best I can with the information I have. I am going to be his mom and I am going to soak up all the moments I can with him.
To all you parents out there
So here is to all you parents out there who want someone to blame. I know there are probably many people we can blame, but it won’t help. Focus on you. Your needs. Your family’s needs, and do what is right for you. Stand up for what you believe in by being the example. By doing what you would want done to you. Teach your kids love, grace, and gratitude. And then call me to complain so we can bitch (and drink) together about how sick of this we really are...and how thankful we are for the health we have...after we laugh and cry for awhile.
Kathryn Kraft, MPT
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