We're all in this together. What's happening in the world is affecting all of us. There have been drastic changes for everyone, some more than others. The quote "we are in the same storm, but not in the same boat," resonates deeply with our family. Although we may be weathering the same storm, as time goes on, I feel as though our boat is being pushed farther away from the majority. Our middle son is medically fragile and requires hospitalization for a high fever, so immediately that puts us in a very different boat.
For the last year, it's safe to say that most parents have been asked to do more than we expected when we signed on for parenting. More that a lot of us desire to do, right? I can fully attest to the fact that I have never desired to wear all of the hats that I'm wearing right now. For the last year I've been everything to everyone. All. The. Time. Distance learning liaison, teacher, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, nurse, and of course, mom. Which we all know that being a mom has endless duties as it is. As a parent of a child with extraordinary needs, it's safe to say that pre-pandemic I was already spread thin.
Our family has been home since March. No friends, no playdates, distance learning, virtual appointments, and only contact with our small family bubble. Recently we made the decision to take our son back to in-person therapy, for his sake and mine. After learning that his therapists were all vaccinated, and still wearing PPE, we decided going back was worth the risk that came with it. We've been weighing all of our choices very carefully and only taking minimal risks when necessary. Same storm, but definitely different boat.
I'm exhausted. And not in the way that a nap would cure it. I'm worn out from doing it all and trying to take care of myself too. Fourth grade math, hand over hand artwork, catching the three year old before he dumps sand all over the floor...and more. I don't need to tell you how difficult this year has been because you've been living it too. But more importantly, I'm beyond tired of trying to get people to care. Care about the vulnerable. Think about our son. In no way am I asking for pity or anyone to feel sorry for us, I just want our family to be a thought.
A thought reminding you that there are families who are in much different boats than you.
A thought when you are having a large gathering without regard for others and attributing to the potential spread of this virus.
A thought when you're upset about the inconvenience of wearing a mask.
A thought when you're angry at how long it's taking kids to resume their activities.
A thought when you're petitioning for your child to no longer wear a mask during sports.
A thought when you're unable to go to your favorite bar or restaurant.
A thought as your life slowly goes back to normal and ours doesn't.
Just a simple thought.
My hope is that if we are a thought, even fleeting, it will remind you that mask wearing is simple. Or put into perspective that taking a year off of third grade soccer is a season of rest. Or postposing the birthday party until the risk is lower is the right thing to do. If we are a thought, maybe you'd see that we need you to get through this. And maybe, just maybe, even saying yes to a vaccine because there are people out there relying on you to help us get through this storm.
The only way to get through this storm is together. Tired. Exhausted. Weary. But together.