Cry Baby

I had been so proud of myself on Sunday, for keeping a lid on my emotions at Joshua’s leaving party, but when I got home I wept uncontrollably, especially when I read all the staff messages in his card and later when I spoke to his keyworker, when she had tucked him into bed for the last time. I was still weepy in the morning, thinking about going to collect Joshua and I cried several times in the car on the drive over.

I arrived at 10 am, as requested, to find a smartly dressed, showered Joshua waiting on the settee with two members of staff. I handed over the bouquet that I had bought for the team and cried, then hugged those staff. Joshua hugged me too and looked curious as to why was mum so upset. We loaded him and his luggage and wheelchair into the car and there were more tears and hugs. My eyes still prickle when I think of one lady thanking me for sharing him with them and one man telling me that he was a credit to myself and my husband. They insisted that we return for a cup of coffee in the future, so that yesterday was not a final goodbye. It is never easy to go back, but I want to ensure that we do keep in touch as they will always have a special place in our hearts.

So it was a highly emotional morning , so much so that I needed a nap when I got home with Joshua , when he went upstairs to watch The Show in his bedroom. I felt much better and more rational when I woke up, although I had puffy eyes for the rest of the day.Joshua was delighted to be back with us and we enjoyed a fun day together; he is always my shadow after a spell in respite, as though he needs to keep me near for a while, so it was good to have the extra bank holiday Monday off together. It is back to school today but for just a four day week and then in three weeks time already, it will be half term already….

We have been brought face to face with Transition again this week, as I, not Joshua, struggle to adapt to change. Of course I reflect on how much more upsetting leaving school will be next July. If I sobbed so hard to leave respite after almost four years, when he went there every fourth weekend, how much tougher will it be to leave school where he will have been for 9 years, five days a week? I have never attended the Leavers assembly at school, but I can imagine that I would be an emotional wreck after that. Still we have over another year to worry about that, so for now, we are going to make the most of a four day school week…..!

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I Second that Emotion

I expect today to be an emotional day for three main reasons : firstly, this morning will be the last time that I will see Joshua until Monday evening and that is a really long time without seeing or being with him. This is his short breaks/respite weekend and we are going away on a trip overseas tonight, so I have been busy packing both for his weekend away, buying pet food in bulk to leave behind and our packing – although ours is still incomplete and can be finished off this afternoon before we catch our ferry. I have been talking about Joshua’s weekend away with him but I am never sure if he understands, but he does recognise his overnight bag that always goes with him and he seriously studied me packing it last night on his bed. I am optimistic that I will receive timely text updates throughout his weekend, which will keep me updated , preventing me from worrying and wondering.

Secondly, I am having my first ever mammogram this afternoon and I am not really sure what to expect, other than discomfort. So that will be a new procedure in my life, now that I have reached that age in my life when the risk of breast cancer is highest. It has coincided with a diagnosis for an important lady in my life, as she begins her chemotherapy next week and I wish her well and a speedy recovery.

Thirdly, this morning is the harvest festival at Joshua’s school and I have always loved this celebration. I recall the first one that I went to back in 2011, back then the whole school walked down to the local parish church, which was a feat in itself. I sat at the back of the church and was overwhelmed by the singing, signing, joyand care in the church and I cried throughout it. Lots of concerned staff stoppped me on the way out to check that I was OK and I sobbed that I “loved it” through my uncontrollable tears. I am made of stronger stuff 7 years later, as I have seen several more school performances like that since, and although I may shed a tear or two at something poignant, I am ready and armed with tissues.