Anticipation. What does that word make you think of? Maybe it brings back a flood of happy childhood memories about birthday gifts or waiting for Christmas morning! Maybe it the flood of memories is filled with anxiety and upset stomachs because childhood was something you are trying to forget. For me, the word anticipation brings a mixed bag of the unknown, fear, and how can I make a plan for that?
Anticipating our first night home with Garrett I did what I thought would be the most helpful: keep the routine, and keep the noise level down. The night went by without a hitch, so then my anticipation moved to the morning. What will happen this morning and how can we make it through--what will be the plan? I watched how he was responding to us and to his surroundings. Soon his anxiety began to spike a little bit, and I could tell that he needed a schedule, a job, a routine. I started out with 20 minute activities: self care, breakfast (things like that) and then a break time. We worked up to 40 minute activities with a 20 minute break through the day: we weeded the front grass, then break for reading, then help decorate for the birthday party, then 20 minutes of art, then lunch then exercise, then reading, then a bike ride. It seemed to be working like clockwork, so my anticipating feeling began to diminish.
As night approached however, we hit a trigger. Some of his artwork got ruined caused by an accident and it took a while to get him to breathe through it and calm down. The long and short of it Garrett ended up not sleeping and his hallucinations started up again. The older boys were up all night escaping life through video games. Rosie was up with no intention of sleep, and the rest as I checked on them were sleeping.
You know, you do the best you can while making sure that you are there for your husband your other children and get the final items ready for the birthday party. To cope and manage with all the needs, my habit is to turn things into a check off list. Here the rub, in trying to be present for all, I was actually not there for any. The saying is true, “a Jack of all trades and a master of none.” Basically I missed things that were in the moment last night, and today are paying the price for that. Oh well. Today is a new day and I can choose to dwell and live in hell, or I can learn and earn. What do I anticipate doing? I guess you’ll find out tomorrow. How’s that for anticipation!