This is going to be a busy and emotional weekend: It all starts today, with my Friday off and I will be attending a Speed Awareness course first thing, as I was caught driving at 35 mph in a 30 zone on the day of Joshua’s family birthday party. I will go from there, back to hospital, to visit Mum and hope to find her better than she was on Wednesday this week. I had to rely on my sister for news yesterday, as text updates were not forthcoming earlier in the day.
This will be Joshua’s last ever weekend at his children’s respite, so he will go there, as usual, straight from school this afternoon. He is having a leaving party there on Sunday, probably more with staff than children, and my husband and I are invited along. As I know it will be an emotional moment, I have already sent them a long email of thanks, explaining what their care has meant to our family over the last almost four years. I knew that I will not be able to make a speech, so it was a better idea to send it over a couple of weeks ago. It is not just the fact that we will not see everyone again, but it makes me sad that Joshua will not understand the significance of this weekend, as he will expect to keep going back there forever. Now that my gratitude is clear and explicit, we should be able to focus on having fun and reminiscing at the party on Sunday. I have promised to bake for some of the sweeter party food too, which is another way of thanking the staff.
As it is bank holiday Monday, Joshua’s taxi will not take him to school after his respite weekend and so I will be going back on Monday to collect him by 10 am. We did consider bringing him home with us after the party, but that would be depriving him, and us, of his last ever night’s sleep there. I just hope that our unexpected presence there, does not upset him too much, so much so that it ruins his last night, by unsettling him, as he expects to go home with us. I hope that I know my laid back son well enough to judge that he will settle back down once we have left.
We continued weaning Joshua off his children’s respite provision, by him spending four hours at his adult replacement last night from school. The taxi driver reported that he looked confused when he arrived there, rather than home, but that he went in with staff happily enough. I collected him at 8 pm, finding him happily sitting on the settee, surrounded by 4 members of staff, loving all that attention. Once again I was asked a few questions about his after school routine and the only problem, had been his continued reluctance to eat with them. He had eaten his medication in a chocolate mousse, but had rejected any other offers of food. He had given the staff a cheery wave as we left and uttered his only words for them :” Thank you”, which was very polite and appropriate. So we will continue on with Transition, he will go there for a full Saturday next and then he will try sleeping there overnight for the first time, going from 1 pm on a Saturday to 1 pm on Sunday . We are making the introductions pretty quickly, but so far, they seem to be going really well, so I am mightily relieved.
So I have my tissues at the ready for this weekend as change is always hard. At the back of my mind is a little voice that keeps reminding me that he will be leaving school next July. If this is an emotional separation after four years of monthly visits, how much more difficult will that be after 9 years of daily attendance at school. But I am well practiced at ignoring those nagging voices in my head, so I will try to continue to blank it out.