Posted in autism, custody, distance parent, non-custodial mom, parenting

Reflecting on the End of the Pandemic…

Ok, I’m a realist, so not the end of the pandemic, but at least a lull long enough for me to see my son in person again.

Yes, I will settle for just a temporary lull in New Jersey COVID-19 new case rate

I’ve missed seeing Leading Man #1 in person, hanging out with him, having an excuse to stop working and play BioShock on my dusty PS4, and having someone to visit museums with. Yet, despite not being able to see JR in person, I did, through this COVID-19 enforced separation, see him every day. The Pandemic Mess’ Zoom Schooling Phenomenon allowed me to buzz into JR’s classes for an hour every day.

I think it may annoy the frack out of Leading Man #1 that I did that…

I don’t mind if he’s annoyed. Dropping into those Zoom Classes every day taught me a few things about how my son functions on the autistic spectrum, how he functions without me, and how much like me JR actually is. We have the same expression, right down to hand in chin placement, when we’re thoughtful.

I’ve also learned how smart my son actually is. I have witnessed him seamlessly calculate 18 x 4 in his head in practically seconds. I’ve heard him answer comprehension questions that left me baffled. I even learned to budget more effectively thanks to his classroom teacher.

I’m a long distance parent, but I’ve learned that I am no less a parent for the long distance between Leading Man #1 and I. TheEx works for a lab testing company, therefore I was the one, most of the time, making sure JR was “in class” (and reprimanding him to get in class when he wasn’t).

The pandemic also forced me to come off the road for an extended length of time. With multiple state quarantines and travel restrictions keeping me at home, I was finally able to learn what living in my house, with my husband, is like. Fun fact: I have a rhododendron that blooms purple in my front yard. Equally impressive: I can survive my husband (a CPA and Tax Director for a MetroWest Public Accounting Firm) working from home during tax season. Ok, that might be because he also cooks fantastic dinners every night.

Finally, the pandemic taught me to think first, and stress out later. Just because we’ve been divorced for 15 years and I have accepted that as non-residential custodian/guardian means I have very little say or insight into the day to day decisions made about my son does not mean I’ve stopped fighting for my son. It just means I’ve gotten choosier about my battles. I think my combat strategy through more carefully BEFORE I act. Some things – visitation when a pandemic is spreading like wildfire – aren’t worth arguing over…or getting stressed out about.

I have never liked being a long distance parent. I have never liked being a non-custodial one. Now, though, I’m a little more at ease with the situation, and a little better at co-parenting.

Not nearly enough, but something…

Author:

Java-fueled, keyboard-powered editor, proofreader, proposal manager, and copywriter. Long distance Mom, adopted HooMom to 2 bed-hogging 70lb+ canines, and workaholic word nerd.

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