Absence makes the heart grow fonder

This morning I am waking up without Joshua in my care! My sister has very kindly offered to take care of him overnight for us, allowing s the luxury of  some time ‘off’. I do not under-estimate how big a responsibility she has taken on  as there are so many unknown factors for her to deal with;  we all went on holiday to Florida last September and so she will have seen how he eats, when he has his medication and when he wears his helmet for instance but that is rather like being driven as a passenger, until you are the driver yourself, you do not really concentrate on the roads!

In order to minimise the anxiety, I prepared some notes about is likes and dislikes, his routines and his medication and she received those several weeks ago. As this weekend approached she had a few more questions for me and when we dropped him off this afternoon, I gave her a demonstration of removing and fitting his splints and how to administer his emergency medication, should he have prolonged seizure activity. She had disrupted her own home, by making room for an airbed for Joshua in the diningroom, which looked very cosy.

Joshua gave his Aunt and Uncle a huge grin when he arrived and was immediately relaxed, enjoying the attention. He has enjoyed visits to their house all of his life, when he was small he used to love going in and out of the two lounge doors! So he did not flinch when we both kissed him goodbye, as he was being promised some dinner as we left. we were not back on the motorway by the time I had received a text telling me that he had enjoyed his soup. Then he was showing off his throwing and catching skills in the garden with a balloon, getting re-acquainted with the lounge doors and then enjoying a bit of quiet time with Shrek on the iPad.

The further away we drove, the more relaxed I felt, enjoying the freedom of responsibility that I had left on my sister’s shoulders. I loved her text updates and photos, all proving that he was happy and in safe hands and last night, we went for a rare meal out: we walked to the local pub and both enjoyed a drink with our meal. Of course we  both fell asleep on the settee when we got home again, having read that Joshua was tucked up on his airbed. I predict that he will sleep well at his Aunt’s house, none of those wakeful nights that I have endured recently for her. At least that is what I am hoping for, as I do not want anyone else to feel the wobbly knees, fuzzy head and stinging eyes that I get the day after.

The current plan is that we meet at a Garden Centre cafe this afternoon to undertake the smooth transfer of Joshua back to his parents, alongside a celebration afternoon tea! I am enjoying my freedom from responsibility but the truth is that I enjoy my son’s company, I am missing him and will give him the biggest hug when I see him later. When you are fully responsible for someone 24/7 then it is an odd feeling when they are no longer there, rather like I have lost one of my own limbs!

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