Living in Michigan, we have some seasonal transitions that we have to accommodate. The change of seasons is one of the things I love about Michigan. We get to experience these changes four times a year and each brings new beauty and new experiences. The past month has been spent getting things ready for a garden and working outside to get our yard and landscaping in tip top shape. We brought out the hoses that were meticulously stored away for winter and started seeds inside for vegetables we hope will flourish in our new garden. We set up a pool and the trampoline in anticipation of the nice days to come. We planted grass seed in some bare spots in the lawn before the heat of summer makes it next to impossible to grow.
For Marissa, her favorite seasons are the ones that she can be outside comfortably. Although she likes to play in the snow initially, she gets cold very quickly and won’t last long. She usually wears 2-3 layers of pants and shirts along with her snow pants and coat, etc. The other extreme is almost worse. When it gets too hot, she refuses to go out unless she goes in the pool. She doesn’t like to be in the heat. Spring and Fall are her favorite, she can ride her bike without sweating, explore the creek, climb trees and find bugs under rocks. All her favorite things to do.
It is the end of May, and the weather has been unseasonably warm. We had almost 90 degree temps these past few days. We try to keep our air conditioning off as long as we can, otherwise none of us want to go outside to enjoy the day. Yesterday, it was another hot day and we didn’t have our air on, and she was riding her bike. I asked her if she would like to go one a bike ride around the block with me, which she normally loves to do. Her response this time, “Are you nuts?!? It is too hot and I’m already sweating!” (Sometimes all you can do is laugh and agree – I was sweating too.) She proceeded to stop riding her bike. I then dared her to jump in the pool with me with all her clothes on. She looked at me like I was crazy. “I can’t get my clothes all wet!” Instead she went inside to play in the basement where it is much cooler. It was worth a shot right? Someday I will get her to do something crazy. Ha!
Let me back up to earlier that morning, the house was already 75 degrees by 7am and getting hotter by the minute. Marissa woke up and had her breakfast. She knows she needs to eat breakfast and get dressed before any screen time. She proceeded to get get dressed and then came out to get her tablet. She had put on one of the many fleece onesies she owns (which has been her outfit of choice for the past couple months). Did I mention how hot it was in the house already? A short while later, I checked on her. She was in her bed, her onesie on, hood up and her favorite blanket over her head. Her face was “glistening” with sweat. I pulled her out of bed and got some shorts and T-shirt for her to put on. She begrudgingly put them on. You see, normally when she gets real clothes on, she chooses long pants and long sleeve shirts, even in this heat. She is a “creature of habit.” That is what she has been wearing for the last seven months and it is what she was used to. She is also not a fan of transitions and this clothing change is a “transition” to her.
Marissa doesn’t think about how putting on something different might make her day more enjoyable or pleasant. She likes the familiar. She hasn’t worn shorts and T-shirts for so long, that is not her norm anymore. So at the change of each season, like I did yesterday, I have to remove all the old season things and put in the new season things so she is forced to wear the right clothes. She doesn’t complain about it if there are no other options to choose from fortunately. The fleece onesies however, will probably need to be hidden. They are her favorite and I have a feeling she will try to put those on in the dead of summer if I don’t hide them!
Transitions have always been hard for Marissa, but I can see some progress being made in regards to some flexibility. We have been so proud of her. She has grown a lot in the last year! We are very thankful for her therapy that we were doing before Covid 19. We’ve been off of therapy for so long now that I think starting that back up will be another transition we will need to work through, but it will be well worth it!
What have you noticed that maybe you never noticed pre-Covid? Have you learned anything new about yourself or your kids? These past few weeks, I’ve realized just how much Marissa is grown physically. She isn’t a small child anymore. I can’t say “childish” things to hear anymore. She only has 2 more years of grade school. I don’t even want to begin thinking about middle school. It goes so fast! With Jacob, I learned how detailed he is. He notices the smallest things and is such a perfectionist like his mom and dad! Cherish the moments, even amidst a pandemic!