May 25, 2012 0 Share

Homeward Bound


Illustration of road leading up to cozy home.
iStockphoto

Since Cody was very small it has been my dream to be at home with my son. But due to finances it hasn’t happened yet. But now a light at the end of the tunnel is appearing.

One of my favorite pastimes is woodworking. And over the years I have slowly but surely developed my skills and my stock pile of tools. So now we are gearing up to put a woodworking shop in our barn.

I used to sit and dream of a job where I’d be close to my son … stop what I was doing and take him out for lunch … have the freedom to work with him on things during the day and work in the shop at night. And now it’s starting to come together and I’m thrilled.

Being able to work on life skills with Cody has always been very important to me as it is to any mother who takes pride in her child. But when moms have to work, it can be challenging at best.

I have often wondered where Cody would be now if I had been able to be at home with him, especially during those early years. After all who knows my son better than me? Who knows his every quirk, his every habit, all his favorite things and all the things he despises (such as math) and how to work around that better than I do?

Cody and his occupational tech, Stephen, work very well together. However, Cody learned that Stephen would be gone for a week this month and then in June, he will be leaving for almost a month to do some volunteer work abroad. Cody became very anxious about Stephen being gone. He would have to become acclimated to a brand new person in Stephen’s place and that’s not something Cody relishes at all. He doesn’t mind meeting new people, but when it comes to spending time with them, taking and adhering to directives from them, that’s another story.

This week was Stephen’s week to be gone and Zach has been Stephen’s temporary replacement.  And though Zach has been doing well, Cody’s anxiety has still been an issue. When he gets nervous, he becomes grumpy and agitated. He can even be oppositional and when he gets like that, it takes someone who knows him to settle him down. But the thing that bothers me most about Cody’s anxiety is his nervous stomach. If he is anxious, his food doesn’t stay in his stomach, so his nutrition intake is diminished, greatly. That makes me anxious!

I’ve been fortunate that I’ve had most of this week off from work. So Cody’s anxiety level has only been slightly elevated, because he knows I’m here. And if Zach ran into any problems, I was here to straighten them out quickly. A couple of nights ago, Cody was lamenting about anything and everything he could. And Bill called him a Norwegian grumpy ole troll. Cody fought to contain his laughter but couldn’t. He grinned and laughed and though he was slightly irritated that Bill made him laugh, he was fine for the rest of the night. But how is it going to be when Stephen leaves for a month in June? Will I be able to be around then? Will Zach be Stephen’s replacement then? Or will he have someone completely new again?

I know that Cody needs to learn to relate to new people he meets without becoming nervous and irritable. I know he needs to lose those kinds of social inhibitions. I know he needs to learn and adapt to new situations with ease to be able to function and have a happy life in this ever-changing world. But it is still going to take more time. It’s still going to be a learning process for him. If I can only be around to help him accomplish these things, it will mean less stress for both him and me.