I arrived early this morning to collect my boy from his respite provision and I was surprised to find him sitting in the lounge all dressed and ready. He grinned from ear to ear when he saw me and offered me one of his bear hugs as the best possible welcome. Then the staff regaled me with stories about how lively he had been and what a delight he was to have to stay. I must have glowed with pride while they detailed his cheekiness and how some of the staff had been disappointed not to be described as either a ‘cow’ or a ‘monkey’ by my son!
Joshua plays to an audience – the staff would mock shock at his insults , he giggles, they laugh too and so the cycle continues. It is possibly the closest to two way conversation that Joshua gets as their banter continues.
Whether or not it is true I am not entirely sure but the manager told Joshua that he would be missed once I took him away as he had made a big impact with them this weekend. They felt that they had seen the real cheeky side of personality this stay and that is the side that is the best company. His smile and giggle is infectious and he is interacting in a way that he rarely does. To be able to show that side of himself shows that Joshua must have confidence in those carers and reassures me, if any reassurance were needed, that he is happy in their care.
As we left, the next batch of young people were starting to arrive and the staff were clearly still enthusiastic to greet them for their stay. It is real skill to make this tough caring role appear to be fun but their affection for their charges seems totally genuine and I am very grateful for that.