I left work early yesterday, so that I could be the one who met Joshua from school, which is unusual for a Monday. As the car reversed into the drive, his cheeky, smiling face looked out of the back window at me and he was eager to get out of the car. I was greeted with a big bear hug and a beaming smile, which was the best feeling in the world. We had been missed and he was delighted to be back where he belonged, back home. Once indoors, Joshua checked out his Den and bedroom, just to ensure nothing had moved or changed while he was away. All of the time I was treated to more hugs .
He messed about at teatime, just seeing how far he could push things now he was home : he wanted to eat his meal on his bed upstairs in his bedroom, rather than downstairs in his normal place. He left a third of his first course, but was he still offered a pudding? Of course, thrilled to have him home, I relented on both challenges.
While the respite provision attempts as far as possible to replicate a home environment, there really is ‘no place like home’ and Joshua recognises the difference. At home he had my undivided attention and he made the most of that, so much so that my husband commented on feeling neglected, as Joshua’s needs and wants came first. He was indulged by having ‘Lion King’ on in his bedroom, while Robbie Williams was singing in the Den and Madagascar was playing to itself on the ipad on the floor of the snug at one point, and Joshua browsed between all three favourites, not sure where to turn next, being spoilt for choice.
I loved our break away in Belgium and I am certain that Joshua had fun in respite, but this is where we both belong : “back home!”