Maybe it was the masks last year or the fact that Elizabeth sanitized so much that she turned into part alcohol. But whatever the case was, She did not get so much as a wave a nausea or a slight sniffle the entire year.

Well actually since, May 2020.

Then it started last week.

A slight tired look in her eyes.

A bit of irritation.

A slight change to some words like Mom became BOMB.

Yep.

A cold.

It was something apparently going around her one workplace and I know this because her friend from the same workplace had called to beg of a walk with Elizabeth due to her cold.

So, several checks of her temperature, a few runs at the pulse oximeter ( measures oxygen levels) and practically making her take an oath that she had no other symptoms. We agreed it was a cold, and she stayed in her room to rest and enjoy some room service from me.

This was on last Wednesday night.

3 days later she is still resting and watching TV and happily so.

She had the tail end remnants of the cold meaning a slight and I mean SLIGHT nasal sound when she talked but that was it.

So flash to Monday morning and the greeting I got when I said “Up and at ’em Elizabeth” and it was not good…..

And it was at that moment when it hit me…the memory of colds and illnesses of bygone times….and the impact they have on her wanting to do ANYTHING. It is like she adapted so well to nothing that she wants to do nothing.

I have learned with her special needs of SPD ( Sensory Processing Disorder) and global dyspraxia that the easy way to do things is the preferred method and if given a choice between easy and some work, she will pick easy 100% of the time. We don’t let this happen, but she would pick it if possible. I know we may all like the easy road every now and then, but for her it is because life is really such hard work each and everyday that this is the preferred path.

Having said that, and as I remembered it all I kind of chastised myself for not remembering this outcome sooner and doing something to offset it like talking to her to explain that Monday is the day to be in general population again and do some things.

Or talk to her about why she may find that prospect unappealing.

Or explaining why we needed to deal with her desire to continue room service and TV.

Alas, I did none of those things and so was faced with quite the irritated, slightly nasal sounding Elizabeth who said NO to everything asked of her or to her.

After a bit of a bumpy start to Monday, we regrouped and made the day pretty good. But it was pretty tough work at first.

I guess my funny story is to offer that sometimes it is the littlest things that can have our kids take two steps back and how if we know this we can be proactive and communicate with our kids. Or like me, not remember until you are looking directly into the eyes of a post cold, irritated 24 year old.

Just a reminder that the journey we are on with our special needs children includes those steps backwards and we, as always, work to right the path and continue going forward with and for our kids.

I wish everyone a peaceful week and please wear a mask and if you haven’t gotten one….get vaccinated!

Michele Gianetti author of Elizabeth Believes in Herself.