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Do You Need A Plan?

What do we do when we’re so busy it seems like the world won’t go on if we don’t continue to produce? AND THEN… We are forced to stop and be still.

COVID-19 has brought our world to a screeching halt. We are left to look at our families for endless days, nothing to distract or pull us away. For some of us, this is a dream come true. For others, it’s terrifying.

So as we consider setting our planners to the side – no matter how cool they are (seriously, check out my new special needs planner, “The Glory Days”) – and as we decide what we’re going to do with this time we’ve been given, let’s figure out the best way to use this gift of time.

My family is holed up in a cabin in the Smoky Mountains, quarantined in a place with a beautiful view. Because people with Down syndrome have lowered immune system function, we prayed and considered for quite a while, nearly canceling the day before we left. Then we came up with a plan – a road trip with as few stops as possible. We took out a middle seat in the van and set up a mobile changing station. We used the baby potty, disinfectant, plastic bags, etc. Even though Charlie, who is almost six, declared the whole thing, “STUPID! This is stupid!” – it worked well.

Social distancing on the road

We packed our lunch (and a bunch of other food so Redmond can continue to get the high-fat and high-calorie foods he likes and will eat) and ate on the go. It went so well that we made the best time ever. We used hand sanitizer, then made sure everything at the cabin was sanitized before we settled in.

I had a really hard time relaxing that first day. It takes me a while to unplug from the constant motion of my everyday life. Before I left, there were bills to pay, decisions to make and walls to paint at the house we’re flipping, suitcases to pack, social media stuff to get set up, doctor appointments, prescriptions to fill, and then just the shock of having the kids at home when we expected them to be in school.

New siding on the house we’re flipping

Not only that, but on the day before we left, we were told that our private duty nurse for Redmond – the one we’ve had for around 35 hours a week since last summer – will no longer be covered by insurance. With only three hours warning, we were told that she won’t be able to return. No goodbye party, no thank you gift or card – just lots of tears.

Nurse Mary

Our nanny who has been with us since Charlie was born is on a long mission trip in Asia. When she comes home, she will need to be quarantined for two weeks.

School is out for three weeks amid warnings that it might not meet again for the rest of the school year.

Life as we know it has changed.

Although it may not appear that I need a planner any longer, the opposite is actually true. Now I need to plan for home school projects and learning time! I will need to plan a lot more meals than I’m used to managing. I’ll need to plan for doing all of Redmond’s therapy at home, since he was supposed to receive physical, occupational, and speech therapy at preschool.

I’ve also decided that as we have this time at home, I’m going to teach the kids some things they might not learn at school – how to use the kitchen to make simple meals for themselves (hello, scrambled eggs, toast, and sandwiches); how to clean the house and sanitize; how to load and unload the dishwasher; daily art, music, and exercise classes; and daily Bible classes.

I’d love to hear other ideas of what to do with the kids during this time of quarantine.

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