autism,  COVID life,  high school,  motherhood

Always Let Steve Take Care of AP Bio

How can 2 weeks feel like 2 months?

I think it’s the emotions. The decision fatigue. Back and forth schedules. Restricted socialization. The feeling of being mostly homebound.

Maybe it’s all the things that have been happening in our house lately? I turned 40 two weeks ago. We got our family pictures taken last Saturday. I had minor surgery on my foot on Wednesday. We survived our second week of virtual school (with both kids attending a handful of classes on campus for choir, orchestra, weights, bio labs, and special ed classes those two weeks) and then hopped back into hybrid for a hot minute (before the teacher development days happened). My kids have been champs with the mismatched schedules. They haven’t had one week the same as another since this school year started.

My cousin in Toronto sent me these gorgeous flowers for my birthday
And my sister (in Saudi Arabia) sent me these

That’s not to say we haven’t had our moments. At one point two weeks ago (it was a Thursday) both kids decided to “let it all go” at around 8:00 pm. W was stressed out about her AP Bio class (the chapter study guide she still hadn’t finished and the test the next day, as well as how confused she was about the expectations of the teacher). I don’t know what J’s meltdown was about. That night Steve and I were moving around the house giving each other the “I got nothing” looks because what do you do when your teenage kids are crying and you know they just need to sleep and have less stress in their life? We ended up sending J to bed early. Steve stayed up with W until 11:00 pm helping W read through her bio. (At 9:00 pm he did check in with me while I was trying to catch up on work. He opened the door to the office and whispered, “I’ll be honest, I really don’t love bio. I really don’t like having to make my brain work so hard at this time of night.”)

J did have two more meltdowns besides that Thursday night special. One just before the end of choir. When we finally got him to talk he blubbered, “I’m just sad XC is over.” He also had a meltdown on Monday because he wasn’t prepared to go back to all day hybrid school (that was on me, I should have prepared him better for it). But seriously? For a kid with autism? A few little meltdowns over school scheduling when school scheduling has been insane for the last two months. I say that’s pretty incredible.

After we got our family pictures taken, we decided to take some of each other
Photo credit: W Beck

Those meltdown moments may sound dramatic (and maybe frequent in the last two weeks) but all in all, as a parent, I’m pretty satisfied with it. I get that things are hard right now. COVID precautions and schedule disruptions are hard. Little things are made harder because of it. But my kids are digging deep and keep showing up and I’m grateful for that.

J got some XC love this week. It was State XC this weekend and although J didn’t get to go (he would have loved to cheer his teammates on) a XC mom dropped off a XC care package. Totally made his day.

I’m not sure what the next few weeks will bring. I’m guessing more of the same moving uncertainties. North Dakota’s COVID numbers are terrible right now (I’m sure you’ve seen it in the national news. It’s embarrassing, frankly). The governor has limited public gatherings to less than 50 people. The mayor of Fargo is debating whether to put the city into lockdown again. I’m sure that means the kids’ school schedule is going to be all over the map too. It’s easy for me to go down that blame game path with my frustration over it all, but that does me no good. I’ve been on this planet 40 years now and one thing I’ve learned is the only thing I have control over is how I react to things. So I’ll take a page from my kids. Keep digging deep and showing up. Take time to regroup when you need it.

And always, always, let Steve take care of AP Bio.

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2 Comments

  • Jessica

    J has been a trooper through all this, and I am so proud of him! I just hope we all can find ways to make it easier for each other through these tough times, and be as strong as J has been!

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