“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”– Heraclitus
It’s been two weeks since we’ve started our self isolation, when everything came to a standstill.
I am thankful my family is safe and healthy and that we’ve only been lightly inconvenienced.
But I think about what this pandemic has taken away from our sweet T: his school, routine and structure, friends, daycare, community pool, McDonald’s Playspace, playground and sense of normalcy.
I think about how he broke down in tears when he saw the cautioned-off playground.
We are in this for the long haul. We need to pace ourselves for a marathon, not a sprint. And we need to change how we respond to things.
During our morning walk today, it was lightly drizzling. It had rained heavily for hours overnight. There were puddles everywhere.
T was in his favourite blue rain boots and I saw that glint of mischief in his eyes. He has high sensory seeking behaviour and there is not a puddle that he can’t resist. Mud? Cherry on top!
I normally get obsessive about keeping him off the puddles, but the last two weeks have already taken so much from him.
So I said, “Go for it. Step on all the puddles!”
He started running and stomped through an 8 foot wide puddle, laughing with full belly heartiness.
We continued our walk around the neighbourhood, the empty school yard and past the cautioned-off playground. He looked at me, “I’m not going to cry!” And I smiled at him and patted his head.
He found more puddles on the damp soaked empty soccer field. Stomp, stomp, stomp. And I ignored his increasingly wet pants and amassing flecks of mud on his boots and clothes.
By the end of our walk, when I had to return to my work, he yelled, “Water got in my boots!”
I could sense his irritation rising and I quickly asked him stomp his boots. I made duck noises as his boots squeaked loudly. “Quack quack.”
We laughed together as we walked home. I inhaled the fresh cool rainy Spring air as I listened to his laughter and squeaky boots.