Friday, April 10, 2020

When the World Paused - Day 20ish

(Photo Credit: Unknown) 
It's safe to say the 'honeymoon period' has warn off. Most of my 'play at home' tricks have worn off. I'm still making a full time effort, but it feels like a lot more 'effort' of late. We've had some fun though. Since the last blog, we have
Taken a walk and stroll through our own personal virtual zoo...
'hugging' the ever elusive Pacific Northwest Giant Panda

Some hikes end with Mom Transportation on the way back.
 played virtual hide and seek when the animals got 'loose' in the house.

Had lots of good lunches, breakfasts, snacks and dinners- 
and played games from Candy Land, Tag, Hide and Seek, Chutes and Ladders and more... including several hundred games I'm not sure The Impossible Girl even knew the rules to. We've sat in front of the computer and chatted with friends and loved ones.

We went for a couple drives. Though frowned upon, we didn't get out of the car, and but we were able to see some scenery and get some fresh air (and more importantly, she was able to NAP before 5pm...).
Today this little fur ball even went on an unexpected adventure... 
So far our time has been interesting. Since we went from an 'on the go' family to a 'constantly home' family, it's been a challenge for everyone (except maybe the dogs... they love it).  I am noticing on days we don't spend enough time outside the house, I end up exhausted by 5pm and ready to go to bed, so I need that fresh air to rejuvenate just as much as The Impossible Girl needs it to burn off her boundless energy. Little care packages, chats, and calls all make my day - and occasionally The Impossible Girl's day too. We still do school in the mornings, and some days she loves it. Other days she wants to do something else to distract herself from what she's missing out on. So we take it all day by day, but I'm very grateful for the structure. We often go back and play the videos her teachers made at a different time when she's more open to receiving what they are offering.
*Closed for the apocolypse*
The truth is, no matter how nice and warm and fuzzy we put a spin on all this wonderful time together - the longer all of this goes on, the more the grief changes. Instead of something to distract yourself from (because it'll end shortly), we know we're in it for the long haul. We miss friends. We miss seeing different places. The reality that the world we live in is forever changed by this settles in in a different way every day.  We've seen all too closely how it effects friends and loved ones. The only people who are unchanged are those who are not paying attention.

We get wonderful care packages from friends in the mail. But we also will be getting masks in the mail. Masks will help keep us and other safe, but they will also hide our smiles and put up a different barrier to communication. Yet, all the while it will convey a message of 'I care enough to keep you and I both safe'.

I went through Etsy to order 2 masks for the kiddo and 2 masks for me. Becuase if we have to do this, we're going to try to make it fun. We ordered some Disney printed ones.

 Now, I have never really been a 'touchy feely' person. To me, physical contact isn't a right anyone is granted. It's a privledge. So I don't so much mind not touching humans all that much, but I wonder how it will effect those kids who are living through it now. Will she run up and hug the first friend she can? Or will she be wary of that six to ten foot distance when all this is over? Will she even really remember this time period as a teenager?

All the unanswerable questions linger in the air like a fog waiting on the sunlight to burn it away...

Yes, we're okay. We're coping well. Have I picked up a new hobby with all my 'free time'? No. I just don't have that kind of 'free time'. I'm the sole playmate and human contact for a 4 year old, and I support My Sailor with the rest of the emotional energy I have. This whole situation has caused me to discover a new depth of feeling for those around me - and a new level of exhaustion.

Today - I let the Impossible Girl watch TV while eating dinner (a treat -we usually eat at the table). I made my plate of food and went to join her about 15 minutes later. There was mac n' cheese and hotdog remnant smashed into pillows and the cushions of the couch. She even had hot dog in her hair. This was new behavoir for a 4 year old. I asked her what happened and she said, "I just wanted to make you happy, mom." It dawned on me that I'd put off timing the meal so we could eat sitting next to each other. She'd asked me to stay and eat when I brought her up her plate, but I told her a few minutes, after I finished making my dinner. I didn't do anything 'wrong', but it was proof to me that there is a bit of truama we are working through.

So I asked her if I seemed unhappy lately. She nodded. I told her that she didn't make me unhappy and said a hug would really help my heart feel better. Could she give me a hug? She gave me a big hug. It helped remind me to watch how I let the stress effect me. I can't get so involved in the to-do-list that I miss this - what's ACTUALLY going on.

"Mommy, sit with me?" really means "I don't want to be alone right now."

But the constant underlying stress sometimes turns off my Universal Mom Translater.

We continue on in good spirits, constantly learning, despite the situation - but that doesn't mean the moarning process isn't still something we're all grappling with. While I have nothing profound to share or new accomplishments to praise, it's good to report that we are good. We are fed. We are clothed. We are sheltered. We are loved.

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