Live Love Laugh

Life is fragile and can be snatched away from us at any time, so we need to make the most of the life that we are given. We need to find time for the things and people that we love and to try hard not to get bogged down in the minutiae. It is important to tell the people that we care for, what and how much they mean to us ,as none of us are going to be around forever. When our loved ones have gone, we do not want to have regrets about the things that we said or indeed, about the important things that we never said to them when we could. I can be over-emotional and rather soppy, but it is just so that the people that I care for, are left in no doubt how I feel about them.

Life is precious and we all know how quickly it flies by, one minute Joshua was born and the next we have celebrated his 18th birthday and he is an adult. So I am going to try to do the things that I want to do now, plan them in, rather than saying I would like to go to Rome one day or that I must get back in touch with that old friend that I have not heard from. That motto goes for Joshua too, I need to enable him to do things that he enjoys, as none of us know how much time we have and how fit and well we will be to enjoy it either. We hear too often of hard working  people who defer all of their travelling and hobbies until they retire, and then they are struck down by ill health once they reach their magical retirement age. I am determined not to be that person, but to grab opportunities whenever they come my way. I have worked hard since I left University in 1990 and so now I am thinking more about playing too.

Joshua is  a well-travelled young man, even though he is a home-bird really, and  we try to enrich his life with trips to the theatre , meals out, family parties and exciting visits to Tesco. Within the confines of his disability, I hope that he enjoys life to the full. I know that he feels loved, and he loves in return, and he likes to laugh, even if it is at other’s expense as he trips them up or kicks them. When Joshua leaves school next summer, it is important that we find alternative daycare that makes him as happy as school does and where he can feel as loved and safe as he currently does. It will not just be about getting him out of the house, he needs to be stimulated and to have the social interaction that he craves, so we will have our work cut out in finding him that placement; but it is critical that we get it right as he deserves the best that we can find.


Game changer

Change is difficult to handle, but sometimes it marks an exciting new adventure too : last night I went out with my colleagues to a Leaving Do for a dear friend, who has left our company after 31 years in the same role , to move onto  a new career. I am confident that I will still see her and social media also means that we will stay in touch, so it was more of a celebration of our time together and less of a goodbye, I felt. We all had a great evening out. Last weekend I visted another friend who has recenty separated from her husband and she has just moved into a rented flat in a new city, with no job as yet. This too is  a  new chapter in her life, and while anxious about a future on her own, she is also excited by the new beginning and her new possibilities.

Joshua handles change better than many of his peers but he still favours the familiar, which is one of the reasons that we prefer to holiday in the same cottages, so that we all know what to expect. This week he returned to school but in a new classroom and with a new teacher, but this is less traumatic in the 6th form at school, as they all have the upstairs of school across all three year groups, so he will have gone to the same shared area for his locker and used the same changing facilities, so it is only the classroom base that will have changed, which is more subtle than lower in the school and as Joshua has always wandered around all of 6th form, I doubt he will have noticed any difference. whereas last year was a bigger change and he kept wanting to return to Seniors downstairs, as he had been with the same teacher for three years, so that is where he wanted to gravitate.

I heard from a friend that her son was reluctant to enter the new classroom and she left him in school, running around the dining hall with staff trying to coax him in. Joshua has always had a fairly relaxed attitude towards change : when I left him at his Granny’s house last week, while I went for a meeting, although he had not done that for years, he did not fret or fuss, so long as he gets attention and a steady supply of food, he would never pine for me, he somehow adjusts and seems to think ‘oh right, this is what we are doing now is it? fair enough, crack on’. That even applied when he was wearing a cast after botox injections, he did not appear to be freaked out at all by the fact that when he awoke from a deep sleep that he had a bright red cast on his leg from his toes to just under his knee. Or after his teeth extraction back in July, I thought that he might have been distressed by two gaping holes in his gums, but he found a way to comfortably eat what he wanted to and adapted quickly.

I realise how fortunate we are to have a son who adapts to change well, in fact I think he adapts better than I do. It is possibly a blessing for him not to have the capacity to fret or worry, his ‘here and now’ outlook on life is a really good one, as he does not waste the hours or nervous energy on worrying about the future or what might happen. Some epileptics might be reluctant to go certain places or engage in some activities, for fear of seizure activity, but I have never taken that approach as I am concerned that you could waste his entire life waiting for seizures, much better to simply be prepared for them to arise at any moment, but to crack on anyway. Perhaps my son and I are more alike than I thought?