So here we find ourselves like so many others, a year into this pandemic and we are right back where we started. While we know more about the virus, the new variants are causing a ruckus and strict measures have been put back in place. The vaccines are a light at the end of the tunnel, but it still feels like a long tunnel.
I have been vocal about the impact this pandemic has had on our family and specifically how it has impacted Maclain. We had a rough spring and summer, everything cancelled, no respite for us, no inclusive camps, or sports programs for him. Again, I know this was the case for all kids, but he has such few options that when those are lost, it is hard to find replacements. So, when things started to look up a bit in the fall, kids back to school, activities opening, we still hung back but had some optimism for this summer. Well and then, wham, now we are not so sure what is going to happen. We are almost positive that there will be no special needs camp programming because the planning needs more than a few months’ notice. Or if we do see some open, they will not be ones that would ever be able to accommodate Maclain.
We have had to improvise and accommodate forever, since Maclain was born, so its not a shock or a burden, we have always figured out options. But we literally have none right now. No movie theatres, no travelling, no visits with friends, no shopping, no sleepovers, and the list goes on. Not even medical appointments because those have moved online. Maclain decided to move to virtual learning in February when schools went back, so that meant that our caregiver would be needed during the day to support him while we work. That means evenings and weekends fall to myself and my husband. No family to help, no other caregivers coming in. We are out of ideas to pass the time and we are tired. And the one family trip we did have planned has been cancelled, despite it taking me 4months to find accommodations that would work for our family. It is times like that that hit me hard, and I get emotional as I realize that I cannot just tell him to go for a bike ride or play basketball in the driveway or get online with friends. We become his sole source of entertainment when the lockdowns are in place and it breaks my heart on a Monday, when someone asks him how his weekend was, and he says boring. Even though I am now an expert at all Lego videogames, an expert Lego builder, among the other skills I have acquired during the last year trying to do my best for Maclain.
Our Netflix, Disney Plus and Prime game is strong, although the baking has fizzled out, as have the family game nights. We spend time now talking and dreaming of the time when we do things again and I reassure him that will happen one day. We talk about high school and I cross fingers behind my back that it will be a “normal” start to Grade 9. We buy a little more ice cream and order a few more treats online that we would otherwise, but tough times call for tough measures. We are healthy, we are together, we have jobs and a home. And for that I am truly grateful. But I wont lie, it still pains my heart knowing we don’t have much to offer Maclain right now other than our support and our love and a cupboard full of chocolate pudding.