During this Stay-At-Home season of life we have tried to find joy in the mundane and peace in the predictable nature of daily life at Patchwork Farm. For some of my kiddos this forced self-isolation has been more trying then it has been for others. For some the routine and forced stillness has been a blessed pause from the frantic pace of normal life. Those family members have relished the opportunity to focus on projects or hobbies at home. For the extroverts in the family this season of isolation has been far more challenging. In the same way being home recharges the batteries and renews the spirits of our resident introverts, our extroverts get their feeding from social interaction with others…
Something that has been lacking these last two months.
That is one of many reasons Grace and Zach moved into the bus. While Grace (an introvert) could happily hunker down at home for months, keeping busy with art projects and a few good books, Zach is the opposite. He is one of our resident extroverts and Grace discovered a week into quarantine that for everyone’s mental well being she would have to provide Zach with friends to play with and space to burn off energy.
Tyler has ADORED having Grace and Zach living across the yard. Grace and Tyler have always had a special bond, but Zach is Tyler’s new best friend. Tyler finally has someone in the house who eagerly joins him in the yard to throw the football. It has been a win/win for everyone. Zach is no longer trapped in the apartment with no one to play with and Tyler has the best playmate ever!
It has been a joy having them here and has given the kids a chance to really get to know Zach as a brother and a friend. Zach has been a HUGE blessing to Tyler, who has found security in having Zach nearby, especially during those harder days.
Molly and Braden are our other two resident extroverts. They have both struggled with the mandate to socially distance from others, and although they have the opportunity to chat with friends “face to face” through Facetime or Zoom, it lacks the fully immersive social interaction that my extroverts crave.
For my kiddos that also are navigating this time of uncertainty with a history of trauma, the forced isolation and extended time at home is particularly challenging and triggering. It has made for some especially challenging moments these last two months. It is hard to be with family 24/7 in the best of circumstances, but when attachment and connection with family is a challenge, and togetherness feels threatening and claustrophobic because of past experiences, the stay-at-home order becomes a prison sentence.
We have tried to combat those struggles and feed the needs of our resident extroverts with as much stimulation as possible. We have carved time out of our days for controlled chaos and fantastical fun to help counter the suffocating nature of a never changing daily routine at home…
And it has helped.
Activities like themed dinners and picnics outside, badminton tournaments and scavenger hunts have helped break up our days and given everyone something new and novel to look forward to.
The other day Toby pulled his hunting rifles from the safe.
After a review of safety procedures we set up a shooting range outside for target practice.
It was Gracie’s idea but everyone had a “blast”…both figuratively and literally.
It was a great break from our daily routine and a fun skill building activity to enjoy as a family.
Our plan to make life more thrilling for our thrill-seeking extroverts was right “on target!”
Family time for the win!