I made a decision this week that I can no longer shoulder any part of the burden of educating people or appealing to their emotions regarding this ongoing pandemic. It is not worth the toll it takes on me, and I am having to buckle in for another intense ride over here.
All of that being said, I am going to continue to share my experience and the difficulties the reality of this virus continues to place on my family.
A difficult decision was made this week, and it is one that is still making me angry and devastatingly sad. Kiran will not be going in person to the first part of his kindergarten year. We spoke at length with his pediatrician around this decision, and she validated that it was the right one for Kiran’s health and safety. We are pursuing homebound services, which means his therapists (and I believe a special education teacher as well) will come into the home and provide the educational and therapeutic instruction he needs, as outlined in his IEP.
Of course, this is not ideal. I was so excited for Kiran to go to kindergarten and learn alongside his peers. You can’t recreate the social aspect at home very well, though I am already thinking of ways to try, especially to support him in his communication goals.
I have already had to pivot my own educational plans in order to have Kiran stay home with me full-time, yet again. I am thankful I am able to take a semester off from UW-Eau Claire because the class I was taking this fall is also offered in the spring. I am still taking the physics course locally this fall, and I have other big educational items to tackle. It will be enough, so I knew something had to give.
I am already planning out a schedule and thinking about having an art day, a music day, etc every week. I welcome any input on how to make this a fun experience for Kiran. Due to being his virtually guided everything last year (preschool teacher, SLP, OT, PT, feeding therapist), I am intimately acquainted with all of his goals and the skills we need to practice. I have also, already this summer, started working on color identification and added in more naming identification practice.
I guess I am saying I continue to be dedicated to making sure he continues to progress and doesn’t get behind or decline in any big way, but I recognize – and this is the part I will continue to grieve – that I can’t give him the social experience, the connection with his peers, the ability to be around people, which he so loves.
I also recognize this, too, will pass. It will. I thought it would have by now, and it is SO hard to tighten the bubble again, something we also discussed with the pediatrician at length. In my household, we have still been taking mitigation measures. I still haven’t been to a restaurant or bar or really out much at all in general, and what I have felt comfortable doing will now cease for me. For our family, Kiran’s pediatrician recommended being very mindful of the risk anyone will bring to Kiran and making decisions accordingly. Until he can be vaccinated, we have to remain vigilant.
I know these are the decisions that we must make to keep Kiran safe, to protect his heart and his little body. But they are shitty decisions, and I’m tired of having to make them. I’m tired of having to explain them. I’m tired of maintaining boundaries. I’m just tired.