Home is where the Heart is

We arrived home from our holiday around 5pm yesterday, so we just missed arriving in the daylight. Joshua was excited from when he recognised the roads 20 minutes away and he kept pointing up ahead, as though he was navigating and directing the driver. By the time we turned up our lane, he was bouncing in his seat, shouting ‘I like you’ excitedly. I was carrrying bags into the house , when he got himself out of the truck – my husband had undone his seat belt – and ran into the house, he could not wait a moment longer. He then went from room to room, checking all was well. It was very cold at home as we have run out of oil while we were away, so luckily we have a log burning stove which soon made the snug cosy and generated enough hot water for a bath. Room inspections over, Joshua grabbed at his apron hanging on the back of the kitchen door, indicating that he was hungry – despite a stop at Donalds en route home! So I set about making an evening meal.

While I love my home, coming back to it after a holiday is always tough as it indicates back to the normal routine for me : back to work, back to school, washing machine on, meals to prepare with less eating out, meetings about Joshua to attend…..That is all suspended while we are away on holiday together – except that I had some work to do and the washing machine ran everyday! But it implies that family fun is over and back to the grindstone, so apparently I was grumpy yesterday while packing up! It is just a period of adjustment, that is all. I know that in the weekend after next, while Joshua is in respite, we have a long weekend at Center Parcs booked, so I do not have to wait long to get back into holiday mode. I also know that Christmas will be here in the blink of an eye, as the end of October half term always indicates that countdown. We are fortunate that our offices close from 21 December through to the new year, so I will soon be on another break, almost having school holidays. So I really have no need to feel sorry for myself and I know that once I have adjusted, I will be fine again, I just did not share Joshua’s innocent delightand unadulterated joy at being home again.

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Back to School, back to books……

I see from parents’ Facebook posts, that this long summer holiday has been diffcult for some families to handle and so this will be a week of mixed emotions for them :

There are those whose autistic children have not been able to understand the change and have asked for school for everyday of the holidays. I know that some parents have had to drive to the school, to prove that it was really closed! There are those who have not been able to express their confusion, but have simply responded to the change by displaying challenging behaviour at home and when out in public.

There are those who will struggle to get back into school routine this week, who have got out of the way of an early bed and early rising routine – this used to be us! I could never imagine by September how I ever got Joshua up and dressed by 8am! However this summer, Joshua has maintained his 9pm-7/8am sleep pattern during the holidays, which will suit well, so no adjustment should be needed.

There will be last minute school shoe shopping, which most Mums seem to do but I have never really understood, as it has only been six weeks, so why would their feet expand in that time? Joshua has worn big, clumpy NHS boots over his splintsĀ  for years now and so, shoe shopping has not been a necessity for us for a very long time. If I get time, I will polish them though.

I enjoy Joshua’s company, so the main thing for me will be the adjustment to not having him around as much : I will see him for an hour maximum in the morning and that getting ready time is usually pretty full on! Then on work days, Yorkshire Grandma will meet him from school and I will see him for a couple of hours when I get home from work. As that after-work time also has to involve preparing and eating an evening meal – Yorkshire Grandma feeds Joshua almost as soon as he gets in from school – and the bathtime routine, that is also a busy time of day.

Joshua goes back to school on Wednesday this week, so he is having a day out with his Dad, Aunt and two younger cousins today ,to cram some last minute fun in. So he will only have a three day week to adjust in this week. In the old days, he was always extra-sleepy after a holiday, but I am not expecting that drowsiness at school this year. Judging by how lively he has been over the holidays, I think , and hope, he will continue to approach life at 100mph!