My apologies that this week's Monday Blog is arriving on Tuesday! But here it is along with some Friessen family deals that I hope you'll enjoy. Take care and be well-- Lorhainne
Uncertain times indeed.
You’ve probably noticed that many have gone relatively silent during what can only be described as a time of craziness. Just imagine the looks someone would have gotten months ago if they’d said that an illness would basically shut the world down! Of course, authors have long written about this kind of scenario in fantasy post-apocalyptic fiction.
Added to this is the fact that everyone is home now, under one roof, and the crazy, busy, out-of-control speed of life has suddenly come to an absolute standstill. If you aren’t an essential service worker, you’re likely stuck at home, maybe going stir crazy. As we made our way to the store yesterday for essential groceries, even after governments assured everyone there wouldn’t be a food shortage, we were met with empty freezers of frozen vegetables, empty shelves of canned goods. At least stores seem to be enforcing limits to counter the toilet paper shortage—though I still shake my head as to why that happened in the first place.
The hoarders are out there, and they’re showing up earlier and earlier. All this does is bring uncertainty and panic to everyone else. You can feel the stress. At the same time, everyone is in the same boat, not knowing what’s around the corner. Schools have closed and will not reopen after spring break. How will this affect my daughter’s education? No one knows yet. Her job in the service industry ended before it could start at spring break. She expected to earn enough money to buy her first car this summer and put money away for college, but that hope has disappeared. Son number two seems to be the most secure, with a job in a grocery store, but only if the ferries keep running. As to his plan for trades school in the fall, again, who knows?
Whoever said whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? Well, here it is, this uncertainty that will test everyone. My autistic son likely has the biggest challenge of all. Sometimes reminders are needed that those with special needs don’t process and manage stresses and uncertainties as well as others do. What is happening right now is far too abstract for them to really understand. Who isn’t watching the news? We keep up on the latest results, the latest closures, the latest enforcements, the latest panic… But this virus is so abstract, and those who are autistic, with special needs, don’t understand the implications. It’s scary, and panic can hit them. They worry everyone is going to die. My son doesn’t understand why movie theatres are closed, why his sister can’t go to school, why no one can go out. This is true of kids in general, too, but with a special needs child or young adult, it can be that much worse.
Yes, we all need to reassure our kids and ourselves, but let this be a reminder that those with special needs will pick up on the stress, the anxiety, and your uncertainty. And the news channels? It’s probably a good idea not to leave them running. Use your earphones and the internet to quickly check on the necessary updates so your kids, and those with special needs, don’t need to experience the dire news playing out on TV. Consider also that any ongoing therapy and outside intervention to help special needs children and young adults function at this time has pretty much ceased. It’s just you now. The thing is, as parents, we know this is just a blip, and we simply have to change up how we do things. For my autistic son, everything he once did outside in terms of socialization, he now does with just us, and it’s not the end of the world. We have a roof over our heads, and everyone is healthy.
Find a reason to laugh. I am, as my other son right now is out back, clearing a spot to plant a garden, digging out the rocks and shrubs from a spot that had become an au naturel bushland.
These are the times when you do what you can with what you have. Remember that as quick as this shutdown happened, it can and will unhappen.
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Andy Friessen has packed up everything and moved his family two states away to protect his wife, newborn babies and stepson from the threats of his mother. What Andy doesn’t know is that they’ll soon face a new threat, one he never saw coming.
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THE NEIGHBOR (The O'Connells, Book 1)
THE THIRD CALL (The O'Connells, Book 2)
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