By Kim Rossi
I'm sitting here writing to all of you on a Friday night, the 5th Friday that we have been on Staycation. Or as I like to call it, The prison known as Covidatraz. And Al Capone is NOT here to do my shirts, my cooking, my cleaning or any of our laundry. These past 36 days have been pretty good here at our little blue house.
I am so proud of my girls, who have given up everything familiar outside of the house. No school. No day program. No helpers coming in and taking them to the mall, the park, anywhere. Just Mom. All day. Every day.
I know that many of my friends are struggling mightily with new or returning behaviors in their children, young through adult, with autism. We've seen regression too. Fortunately, it has been mostly benign. Mia has been listening to songs I used to play in our very first minivan back in 1997, when I would drive her and Gianna to and from daycare. Sesame Street songs. It's nice to hear her sing the lyrics from when she was a child. I think it comforts her. I hope so. Gianna has been a trooper - although she is relying on her calendar more than ever. Each morning, she wakes around 4:30am, and I can hear her open the door to our lower level, (don't be impressed, we have a darling 1950 3 bedroom ranch, but the lower level is fully finished) go down the stairs, creak, creak (did I mention 1950) creak and there she puts an "X" through the date on her whiteboard calendar. Every day, this is the first thing she does. I know that it helps ground her. Heck, I have to ask her the date ten times a day! Isabella, has been distance learning with school. A challenge to say the least, but it gives her a look at familiar faces, if only to signal her that the world still exists. She has her dime store beads at her side at all times.
I expect this house arrest to continue at least through May. I worry about forced vaccination when we're out of this. I worry about having to show proof of COVID to participate in life. But I know that tomorrow's worries are for tomorrow. Not today. This is Easter weekend. Passover too. I'm baking (I have a 55 poound bag of Italian flour - yes, 55 pounds) and I'm not afraid to use it! Cooking and baking are my comforts. The scents of my own childhood.
A warm kitchen means a safe home. And that has been my priority for my daughters. Safety. Security. A gentle life with joy exactly where and how they need it. Sesame Street songs. A white board calendar. Shiny beads. And fresh baked goods.
Tell me how you are doing in our comments. I really want to know. I'm thinking of doing some Facebook live broadcasts from our little blue house. The most important thing I need is to know that our crew, our squad, all of you, are OK, getting by, no matter where you are.
Oh, on Monday I have a funny surprise for everyone. It's silly. But I think you'll like it.
Stay well. Stay safe. Stay sane.