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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Homecoming Part 2

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!”