Sometimes, when you kids are teens, you have to sneak in first day of school pictures. Here are Enoch and Kalina (and Frodo) on their first day of Running Start (community college). Enoch is a senior and Kalina junior.
Campus classes two days a week and homeschooling three days seemed like the perfect balance for Apollo (and me) this year. What I didn’t anticipate was the immediate return of his Fear of a Quiet House. Just as soon as Enoch and Kalina started school his anxiety returned with a vengeance. He is perfectly fine when there are people and activity in the house, but the anxiety sets in as soon as it is just the two of us and the house gets quiet.
To offset this turn in events, I have become The Needy Friend. Two of Apollo’s friends from kindergarten and first grade are also in this partnership program and I have been begging them to come over to add some noise and activity to our house on non-school days. Last week I offered to bake blueberry muffins with the kids which turned out to be a wonderful activity. All the kids enjoyed it and our house was most definitely not quiet.
We killed two birds with one stone, as they say. We had a lesson in math, reading, and life skills all while keeping Apollo’s anxiety at bay. The kids had a great time and plenty of learning took place.
I mentioned the return of Apollo’s anxiety when I had him in at the doctor last week and he told me that if it came back after two years, it never really left. He said this obviously wasn’t a just a phase, or a stage, and he strongly feels Apollo needs to see a counselor so he can find ways to combat his anxiety now, rather than continue to bury it or hide it.
And, of course, I am going to New Zealand in November for the birth of my first grandchild. Apollo doesn’t know I’m leaving yet (two months is forever to a seven-year-old) and the doctor agreed there was no reason to get him worried this far in advance.
Apollo’s double aortic arch is like the gift that just keeps on giving. It has robbed him of proper nourishment and growth, it has emptied our bank account, it has stolen the gift of sleep, it has left him scarred, scared and anxious. Every mountain we climb, it seems, reveals a new one in our future. Some are big and some are small, but there seems to be no end in sight.
In the meantime, we bake muffins with friends, go to the library and hike. And I am, indeed, the Needy Friend, desperate to fill our homeschooling days with noise, activities, adventures and fellow humans.