Finding the silver lining

It can be all too easy, in times like this, to focus on the negative. I’ve been guilty of it myself, especially as I watch the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the state tick up nearly every hour. It hit me over the weekend, also, that I would have normally spent the weekend covering the 13th Annual Wyoming Open and that this week’s paper would have a list of all the various Easter events in eastern Carbon County.

When thinking about what has changed, and what is changing, it can be hard to find something positive. 

Despite the initial exhaustion and depressive mood that initially arrived with the constant changes to our lives and to our community, I have found myself beginning to level out. Sure, there are still plenty of daily stresses that weigh on my shoulders, but my task is now trying to find a new sense of normal in all of this.

One positive to all of this is that, in trying to do more work from home, I have been able to spend more time with my son, Jareth. This has always been a difficult balance since I’ve worked at the Saratoga Sun and there have been countless times in which I would come home long after bedtime. In recent weeks, however, I have been able to sit down to dinner with my family and read to him at night.

It is something that I had greatly missed and I’m glad to be able to give that to Jareth with all this global uncertainty.

Another great aspect about spending more time with Jareth is seeing how much he has advanced on his speech therapy. Ever since he began learning how to talk, there have been elements of his speech that have had impediments. This is something I dealt with myself while growing up, so I have understood his frustration when he has had difficulty communicating his needs to us.

Since I’ve spent more time with my son, I have noticed that the instances of needing to try and translate what he is saying have decreased. While he still has his moments of slurring a word or not properly enunciating, they are few and far between. Remembering the struggles I had with my own speech impediments, which sometimes still make themselves known, I am proud of the progress that he has made.

This brings me to what we are beginning to do this week at home. With the schools being closed until the end of April, for the moment, the adapted learning plan for Carbon County School District No. 2 begins. 

I joked with my wife, Telitha, that we’re lucky Jareth isn’t in high school because neither of us would know how to help him with math. Truth be told, I took Algebra 2 twice in high school and still got out by the skin of my teeth.

As I’m writing this, I’m looking forward to helping Jareth with his school work. We had a dose of it over the Christmas break and, while there were times of frustration, I found joy in seeing his eyes light up once something clicked. I’m looking forward to that, again, as I approach a new way to connect with my son.

And he certainly is ready to learn.

The first week or two, Jareth seemed happy that he didn’t have to get up at 6:30 a.m. for either Telitha or me to give him a ride to the bus. He had his fun playing with his toys but, eventually, that desire to learn took hold. The first couple days out of school, he wanted to watch Pokemon or some other similar shows. Now it is educational shows like “Wild Kratz” or “72 Deadliest Animals.” He’s even begun writing small pamphlets of information on what he’s learned, such as armadillos and anacondas.

So, despite the uncertainty that is facing me each day, taking some time to look at something positive in my life has allowed me to lower my shoulders and unclench my jaw. No doubt, my jaw will again be clenched in the future and my shoulders will be up to my ears, but at least as I’m writing this I’m able to take a moment to clear my head of the darkness that was on my mind.

If you get a moment, or even if you need to take a moment, do the same for yourself. It may just help.


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