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Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:00

I'm Closing My Eyes for a Minute

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Jack is out of school for the week. Since my son is in a non-public school and my daughter is in a school in our district, they rarely have the same vacation days. I try to make the best of having each kid sharing alone time with me, but I'll admit that I also feel like I sometimes "lose" two weeks at a time, especially at spring break, and whatever they are calling this President’s day, ski-week thing, since I have less child care, but the same amount of work to do.

This morning I tried to take Jack out for a few quick errands, because that's what I do when the kids are at school and the complaining started before I opened the door. Yes, Jack is non-verbal, but he is not non-sound or non-communicative. I am thankful that his vocalizations are very, very clear when he wants me to know something, but despite his great communication we still had things to do. He yelled "Noooooo" and dropped to the ground at the back door when I told him that he was not going to be playing in the yard, but was going to go straight to the car instead.

The irony of this morning is that we ended up at home five minutes after we left the house. When I finally got Jack into the car, buckled in and ready to go, I sat there in the driver’s seat and realized that my eyes were really light sensitive. I thought they would adjust, so I put on my sunglasses and started down the drive towards the store. I realized it really wasn’t safe for me to drive, so I ended up circling quickly back around the block towards home. Jack is now very happily playing in the back yard.

I recalled that I have been sleeping in my contacts for days, and my right eye is so tired and raw that it basically doesn’t want to stay open in the light. I switched to my glasses for a little relief, but it will probably take a few days for it to heal. It’s just one more way that I neglected to take care of myself. I have very dry skin, and sometimes my hands are too rough to take out my contacts, so I need to make sure I wear gloves for a lot of housework, and put lotion on when I can… it’s not as easy as just popping out my contacts at the end of the day. There is a series of small things that I must do to make sure I can take my contacts out at night, and I just didn’t do them.

I’ve been better about getting enough sleep, trying to drink enough water, and eating real meals sitting down, but I’ve got a long way to go to take care of myself in a way that set me up to be successful as Jack’s mom. I need to stay healthy to be able to properly care for him and for his younger sister…and I need to stay healthy because I feel better when I do. I feel good and strong and confident.

So today I will give my eyes a break and just do some paperwork. Later this afternoon Jack and I will take a little rest together so he can watch his favorite show and I can close my eyes safely. It’s not a bad thing at all; we really will get some one-on-one time that will be uninterrupted by work, or his little sister. And I’m not worried, we’ll get to those errands another day.

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Dandelion is a free quarterly magazine that serves as a resource for Bay Area and Sacramento families of children with special needs: autism and Asperger’s, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, those who are blind, deaf, in wheelchairs, learning disorders, sensory issues and every special need in between. Dandelion’s mission is to create and empower a community of local families through a variety of media by providing a database of resources, trusted and thought-provoking editorial content, an up-to-date calendar of special needs-specific events, noteworthy news, as well as contributions to the community.