• anxiety,  autism,  COVID life,  medication,  mental health

    Sertraline

    Take the syringe, watch the calibration carefully as you pull the clear, bitter liquid out from the bottle. That bitterness is why you need lemonade. Orange juice works too. The acidity will offset the bitterness. Wipe the bottle clean before you place it back in the cupboard. Any medication that spills along the sides will be sticky. J is 5 when we start this regiment, hoping that the sertraline prescription will do enough to keep his anxiety and OCD-like symptoms manageable. We were nervous to start. Anti-anxiety medication for a five year old? But the anxiety is debelitating for him. We feel like we don’t have any other choice. “Don’t…

  • anxiety,  COVID life,  motherhood

    Did I go through hell for nothing?

    One week ago was Father’s Day. Instead of the immense sadness I thought I’d be feeling over the loss of my dad, I was angry. Like raging angry. I haven’t been this angry in a very long time. I’ve been slowly realizing that COVID and my dad’s passing have been and will be forever intertwined, and because we’re still experiencing the effects of the COVID pandemic, I feel like I am still stuck–no stalled–in the grieving process. I’m still waiting to be physically with my family, so we can cry and hold each other like we should have been able to do at my dad’s funeral. Instead, the closure of…

  • autism,  COVID life,  motherhood,  special education

    We are living a privileged autism experience

    After the events of George Floyd, I feel like our little life events this month have been trivial in the importance of the national dialogue about race and privilege in North America (and across the world) and so I feel like maybe this week’s post should focus on more important voices that need to be heard that haven’t been heard. What I would like to do with this post is recognize our privilege as a white autism experience and share some voices and experiences of people of colour, specifically people of colour with autism. It’s an area of inequality that I should be more aware of, and I’m embarrassed to…

  • anxiety,  autism,  COVID life,  high school,  mental health,  special education

    COVID Rules

    Monday morning, J and I sit in front of his school-issued laptop while we chat with his special ed teacher, para, and speech therapist in our little “small talk” session and suddenly J bursts into a complete meltdown. Not just meltdown–I’m pretty sure it’s a panic attack because there’s hyperventilation and big ugly-cry sobs. We try to keep him on camera to help talk him through it–to assure him that things will not just be fine, things will be great, but he can’t do it and he needs to leave the room. It’s a very big reaction to (what we thought) was a pretty benign question: When is quarantine over?…

  • COVID life,  exercise,  motherhood

    Normal right now

    In four days our Colorado quarantine will be over. We will finally be able to leave our house. Go get groceries. Take the dog for a walk. Go for a run–oh how I’m aching to run outside! I ran 9 miles on the treadmill Saturday. I’m aching to run outside. In four days life will be back to normal again. Ha! Normal. I feel so lost right now looking for “normal.” Normal is an absurd paradox. Normal right now means having virtual school be the grounding point in the day when you’re in Colorado because it’s the only thing that ties your kids to a routine because things are so…

  • COVID life,  family

    To grieve behind a mask

    My father passed away Friday, April 10 2020. My faith has always sustained me through the hard times in my life. And I know it will sustain me through this moment in my life. But death and grief are inseparable companions and a pandemic brings a kind of grief I have never before experienced. My mother and I are the only members of our family living in the United States. My sister and her family live Saudi Arabia and my extended family lives in Canada and no one can leave their homes because the international borders are closed. I buy a ticket to Denver the night I find out my…

  • autism,  COVID life,  high school,  home strategies,  IEP,  motherhood,  special education

    First Day of School Take 2

    Wednesday Fargo Public Schools started their first day of school thanks to COVID-19. It seems like everyone I know across the US and across the ocean (in Saudi Arabia) has already been participating in virtual school for at least a week or two already. In general, I feel like North Dakota has been a few weeks behind everyone on everything COVID related (probably because we fall 47 out of 50 in population size in the United States). And that’s okay. I (personally) need that extra time to mental prepare for all the changes that are happening, and I appreciate watching and learning from everyone else who has started the “new…

  • anxiety,  COVID life,  mental health,  motherhood

    Yes, we are blessed. And yes, we are struggling.

    I don’t know what day of quarantine we’re on without looking at a calendar. Time feels so different right now. The days kind of blur into each other, but at the same time they’re so different. Some days I wake up motivated, I’m on top of things (as in interacting with my kids so they’re on screens for 5 hours instead of say, 6 that day). Some days I wake up and it’s a struggle–sometimes with my kids and Steve, sometimes just with myself. It’s like I wake up every morning to a new Sarah Beck and I have to figure out what the new head space looks like for…

  • COVID life,  family

    My sister is flying solo because her family is separated by COVID-19

    What happens when life is happening and then COVID-19 decides to hijack everything? I think that’s a question we’re all trying to figure out. And we all have different pictures, different versions, of what “life” looks like. Teachers are scrambling to figure out how to adjust curriculum and adapt them to brand new formats. Parents are trying to figure out how to work from home and help facilitate their kids “home school” electronically (luckily, most of us Fargo parents have a little more time before we have to figure that out). Families are trying to figure out how to make sure their kids are being taken care of while they…

  • anxiety,  autism,  COVID life,  motherhood

    The world keeps changing every 2 hours

    Just as I started to write this post, my phone rang with an automated Fargo Public School message regarding school breakfast and lunch for low income families: from Wednesday to Friday this week, students can walk up or drive up to designated school pick up locations for their meal. Two hours ago, I checked my phone and the front headline said that the CDC now recommends we congregate in groups no larger than 10 people. Three hours before that announcement, the Fargo Marathon was postponed. It will be held August 29 instead of May 9. And today’s only Monday. The world keeps changing drastically every 2 hours in the last…