As our new rhythm defines itself since we got the news, I’ve had to let go of a few things. One recommendation that was made by the specialists that have followed our Little Man for the last few months was that we find him a part-time daycare or play group where he could be among kids his own age without me. That last part broke my heart when it was first suggested, but I’ve come to understand it as something positive for 2 main reasons :
First reason, for Little Man, it will mean having to let go of his “rules” and learn to adapt a bit more to social settings. One of the red flags we encountered during the evaluation was his rigidity when it came to following instructions. And I don’t mean just instructions like “put your toys away”, I mean he has a hard time learning through imitation and direction. Seems my son was born with a strong belief that trial and error is the only way to learn. So when you pull out a new object, game or toy, he will get very upset if you try to teach him how it works or how to use said object or toy. They also said that he has problems generalizing concepts. What this means is that he has issues taking a skill he has learned at home and applying elsewhere. That includes following directions. He is used to following directions from me first. Even my husband has problems sometimes because Little Man will not only look for me, but he will also look for my voice AND my intonation. So, exposing him to a multitude of people giving him similar but not identical instructions will help him expand his horizons a bit. Luckily, we have an amazing family resource center just a few minutes from our home that offer part-time daycare to families like ours that need just a few hours a week. So for the last month, Little Man has been going to daycare every Thursday morning from 8h30 to 11h30 am. He loves it! He’s been so happy when we pull into the driveway and cries when we leave. The ladies that run the daycare are amazing, so patient and already love him dearly.
Second reason why I think this is a positive thing is that, and this part is very hard for me, I get 3 hours a week to myself. The first time it happened, I was so lost at having all this free time, I ended up doing all the errands I would have normally done on the week-ends. The idea of sitting there doing “nothing” was unthinkable. But as I was preparing for the second week, I realized that taking care of myself wasn’t doing nothing. It meant drinking a hot cup of coffee. It meant a warm healthy breakfast prepared by someone else and me eating it while sitting down with a book. It meant uninterrupted daylight hours to dive into my herbal studies course that I am already so behind on due to the events of the last 3 months. It meant allowing my brain and heart to let go, to trust in the support system in place that are helping me find those hours to help renew and rest my body, mind and soul. I have to keep reminding myself that this journey is not a sprint. To run this marathon, I’ll have to pace myself. Oh what a challenge that will be! But I look forward to my Thursday mornings now. They are part of our routine, our weekly rhythm. I’m slowly letting go of the guilt, allowing myself to feel grateful for this time.
Life, my friends, is filled with simple pleasures. Take them and make them yours.