The email looked like another weed in our COVID-ly garden, and I opened it expecting to pluck it from my inbox and toss. Until the first words sunk in.
Can the boys return to the day program in two weeks, ahead of our Phase 2?
Talk about a surprise. I’d hunkered down figuring October at best was when we’d be on their list. I’d spent nearly 21 weeks navigating often choppy seas in running Mom’s 500-mile day program and keeping them home and safe 7/24. Lately Will’s bolting has soared, caregivers have gone and new ones arrived, and work demands in my limited time blocks have forced a new prioritization that I hate. My advancing arthritis has created physical issues I wish I could pretend away. I’ve pivoted the boys’ day services to what I wanted all along – partial self-direction – and hired and staffed to make it happen.
If we say yes, the balance we’d struggled to achieve will change again. AFGO – another friggin’ growth experience, as the say in 12-step programs.
Change is so hard, especially with our life grid. The hubby is far more hesitant than me. COVID lingers, he said. Our bubble will balloon, and maybe break with all these new vectors for the virus in our world. Then there’s the staff. One who asked us to change her schedule isn’t thrilled that we’re returning the favor in requiring the flexibility we ask of her. A newly hired helper already flagged she’s living up to her stated plan to leave in mid-September. Another hire due to start next week hasn’t replied to my confirm. My work is on fire, with a favorite client asking for more monthly hours, which is a lovely vote of confidence that will assuredly mean more early mornings and late night if my present “work between zooms” business continues, at least until I equilibrate again.
Then there’s my needs. Ha. As if I’m allowed to have them. I may stretch my limits, but COVID has also taught me and how grouchy and ill -literally – I get if I don’t treat myself with a teensy bit of the loving care I give everyone else.
I’m remembering the lesson of my basil. I repotted and cultivated tiny shoots from a plant the CSA sent with my share in the spring. It lasted over two months – until I continued to let it stand like a green sentry to my nurturance too long. Pot-bound, my gardener-neighbor said. It needs the nutrients of new soil.
I wish there’d still be hope for my basil, but it’s wilted each day, and though I watered and whispered anew this morning, the leaves are mottled with yellow spots, shrunken. I suspect it may be too late.
Yet the stalk has a lime green resilience to it – and when I caressed it, I could feel fresh fluid in its core and the tender white fuzzy hairs that lined its reediness, a beard of the wizened perhaps, or just the one who knows to self-protect in a garden of many others more beautiful.
There’s too much to do in too little time today, as always. Paul and Jenn are asleep, and I have just 90 min left before speech therapy when hopefully one of them will wake to help me. But I already have a plan for buying a larger flower pot and fresh potting soil, mixed lovingly by my own hand, where the base soil beneath it comes from the soil that already has helped us flourish, sturdy earth that will let us bloom again.