sheltering in place

Sheltering in place. Stuck at home. Missing school. In our current circumstance, we can't go to the movies. Can't browse our favorite stores. Concerts and birthday parties and day camp and sleepovers aren't options. Can't go out for family dinners at our favorite restaurants. Can't do play dates. Can't go to the playground to swing or climb on the equipment. Can't go on vacations or spend the night away while someone else babysits. Not yet, anyway.

Stuck at home for what is and will be hours and days and weeks and months on end—for the foreseeable future considering the state of things. We can listen to music, turn on the news, call friends, read a few chapters, write a little. We can do house chores, take naps and long showers, enjoy films, go to bed early. We can watch our offspring play alone. We can cook and eat and drink. Weather permitting, we can take walks in the neighborhood. We can go on long car rides. We can stroll through the woods. Mostly, though, we're stuck at home.

Visiting friends for family dinners isn't an option. Going to the grocer is a challenge. They're frequently out of what we need, often when we need it most. When we do go, other shoppers regard us with suspicion. We have to steer clear of touching certain surfaces, especially since some of us so often touch our face and mouths.

Times are strange. Life is hard. Welcome to our world.

As the parents of a non-verbal, incontinent, impatient, unsteady, severely developmentally-delayed teenager with autism and frequent seizures who is often loud, can't sit still or play with others, touches and mouths everything including his fingers, and who sleeps in a special safety bed, we've lived the way I've just described—stuck at home, mostly, with little else to do—for sixteen years. Thankfully, in great part because of the love and support of others, I've survived and remain mostly sane.

That's why I'm convinced, in this strange and scary time of coronavirus, you can too.

Call me if you need a pep talk. I'll most likely be at home.

Photo  (screenshot) by Michael Kolster

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