Yesterday, I stepped out of my car and into the brisk air, I felt a feeling of joy radiate within me. The sun worked its way out of the thick clouds and the snow insulated the earth making it feel warm even though it was frigid. This day had been one I had been longing for since this pandemic began.
For a moment, I paused and looked around, it was obvious I was one of the youngest there and I hesitated for a moment wondering if I’d take a vaccine of someone who needed it more than I did? Yes, I have a heart condition but more than that, I have a child that needs me.
Sure, all children need us but when you have a child with additional needs, there is the true fact that they need you, more.
As you have children and begin accepting the reality of what could be, most parents take time to plan who would take their child in their absence but since having Serrie, I really don’t know.
I have my parents, but they are getting older and her strength, at times is too much for me to bear. I have a friend, her extra mom, who has said she will but can you place a child with so many needs that would add additional strain on a family that isn’t her own?
I’ve always wondered what would happen? What would the reality be if I passed before my children were grown? Since Serrie was diagnosed, I that wonder has changed to worry. How do you ask someone to say “yes” to so much more than raising a typical child? And so, I worry.
I have listened to my children as we drive devising a plan, from the “rich” sister who sends money, to the brother who has a trampoline and pool for sensory input, but today, they are too young and losing us would be too much, for them, for her. For anyone to take on a family of five.
The pandemic has weighed on us all and there have been moments when the strain in our home is palpable as my husband was determined to keep us safe. There has been extra strain on those of us who have children who have additional needs. What if they get sick? Will we be able to support them in the hospital? What if we get sick? Who would care for them if we were hospitalized? That reality has been one that is nearly too much to bear.
As I moved through the line, tears began to well within my eyes. The moment of getting vaccinated sent a wave of relief, the weight lessened. I’m aware that the vaccine isn’t a sure fire way to protect myself but in this pandemic it makes me feel better, more confident that with appropriate safety measures, we will in fact be safer.
After the vaccination, as I sat and waited. I looked around and saw a family, what my family could look like in 40 years. The mother, stood stoic beside her daughter while she was vaccinated. Shaking, she steadied herself and I thought, “she will be safer”, I knew, the mom will have less worry and I had hope that this worry I have held within myself will subside and hopefully, one day I will be here to guide my daughter like that mother when she’s 40 through anything that life may throw her way.