Welcome Home

There is nothing better after a long, stressful day working away, to come home to :

  • Four dogs who were excited to see me and had clearly missed me, jumping around competing for my attention
  • My husband who was glad to see me back from my travels safely and he  had not only done some food shopping, but he was all organised to make our tea too!
  • A cheeky Joshua who had heard my voice from his bed, had crept downstairs and made a beeline for me in the kitchen, grinning with relief that I was home and hugging me tightly to demonstrate his pleasure. He kept looking at me, smiling, as if he was working out if it was really me – I had only been missing for 28 hours but clearly it had made an impact on him and he was pleased that I was back. I took him back upstairs and read him a story, then snuggled him in for a few minutes, so that he was reassured that I was back. I am usually only away overnight with work, occasionally two nights, so at least it is not like in some families where a parent works away Monday to Friday, or even longer.
  • Changing out of my presenting clothes and uncomfortable shoes, into my pyjamas and cosy dressing gown, the final signal that I was home and had no intention of going out again.

Once again, Yorkshire Grandma saved the day and was able to slot into our family life while I was absent : she arrived at 7 am to make packed lunches and to get Joshua up and dressed, once my husband had gone to work. She was back at 3.30 to meet Joshua from school, with first his medication and then his tea and she gave him his bath too ,so he was all ready for bed by the time we got home. We would not be able to do the jobs that we do without Yorkshire Grandma in our lives and it helps that Joshua adores her, he is always pleased to see her as she indulges him with all his favourites, just like a real grandmother would do.

I know that Mum regretted that we lived too far apart to be able to help out more as Joshua was growing up, but she did plenty for us as a family over the years and Joshua’s face always lit up when he saw his Granny, they had a beautiful relationship. I was reflecting on her time in hospital earlier in the year recently, and had an image of Joshua sitting quietly on her hospital bed one time when we all went to visit her. She was thrilled to see him and he somehow knew that he had to sit quietly and not tear up and down the ward, as I had dreaded him wanting to do. She had had to move up for him as he had almost climbed in next to her and I am really glad that they had that short opportunity to be together one last time.

So this morning, I am now off to make the packed lunches and in another hour, I will wake Joshua up and bring him some porridge in bed, before getting him dressed for school, as if I was never away.

My Home Boy

Once our ferry docked , I knew immediately that I wanted to see Joshua as soon as possible again. So when I got home, I told Yorkshire Grandma that she could have the night off as I would meet Joshua after school – she had kindly been house and pet-sitting for us while we were away. By the time that I had talked to Yorkshire Grandma, walked the dogs who were very excited and bouncy to see me and taken a shower, I was not in work until almost 10 am, handing around Toblerone to my colleagues. So I had a short day, as I left at 3.30, to be ready to be home to greet our son, who I had not seen since last Thursday – which seemed like an eternity.

He gave me a little wave from the back of the taxi, and if he was disappointed that I was not Yorkshire Grandma, he did not show it, even though I had to ask for a hug, but then he was generous with his hugs once we were inside. He walked through to his den, where I followed the routine to remove his splints and boots and then I turned The Show on, as he had not seen U2, Coldplay or Travis since Friday  morning. I then set about preparing his tea and when I tool his medication and yogurt through to den, he was already curled up on the settee, contented to be back in his own, familiar space. He had a short nap while I prepared his food, but he came into the kitchen and gave me a hug to let me know that he was awake and ready to eat.

After his meal, I let the dogs in from the garden and they all jumped all over him, pleased to have us both home again. Joshua seemed to enjoy the wriggling black puppies clambering all over him and licking his face. They had clearly missed Joshua too and I enjoyed watching the reunion.

Joshua has not yet come to terms with the shower at his respite provision and so he needed a hair-wash and bath, so we did that early. After the trauma of having his hair washed, Joshua relaxed into his bath, so much so that he struggled to keep his eyes open, even though it was still early. So I helped him out and changed him into his pyjamas and he had an hour curled up in bed, while I unpacked and prepared our evening meal. Joshua reappeared after his doze, when my husband came home and he was happy that we were all reunited and back where we belong. Joshua has taken the new respite provision in his stride and I am delighted about that, but he is, and always has been, a ‘home boy’ at heart.

Welcome Back

We left our holiday accommodation, all tidy and sparkling, at 11am and we finally arrived home at 6pm, with one ferry crossing and three train changes later. It was a fun journey and the dogs behaved like angels all of the way, mostly curling up under the seats and going to sleep.They took strangers in their stride and were even calm when either of us got up to go and buy coffee from the buffet car. I could not have wished for better behaved pets, particularly given that Kevin is just 5 months old. He was wide-eyed , taking all of the new experiences in and only occasionally would he forget himself, as he let out a little bark, more in fear rather  than bravado.

When we arrived home, Joshua was upstairs in his bedroom getting changed, as we called out that we were back home. He squealed with delight and ran to the top of the stairs, where he grinned , posed on one leg like a flamingo and shouted in a high, excited voice ” I like you!”. We brought him downstairs where he could do himself less harm and he continued to shout for joy.  I received several bear hugs and I heard stories from Yorkshire Grandma and I read in the school diary and his respite diary too, so as to get fully briefed on events. I enjoyed a quick cup of tea and then it was straight upstairs for an early bath. Joshua remained excited and animated all night, he was clearly delighted that we were all reunited back at home.

Joshua has just four more days at school for 2018 and I have just two more days of work. I have booked tomorrow off on leave too, in order to attend Joshua’s school Christmas play. which will be fun I am sure. I am back at school on Friday morning for our final Parent Coffee Morning of 2018 too, on the last day of term so I need to find some baking time before then. This can be a mad, busy time of year which gets bogged down with shopping, wrapping and parties but Joshua reminded us last night that all he wants for Christmas is everyone to be at home together. His Christmas wish will be granted, plus some bonus family appearances from Granny for Christmas and his Aunt, Uncle and cousin, with her boyfriend, on Boxing Day.

So as he counts down the last few days of term in 2018, he can look forward to the year when he turns 18 years old, the year when he becomes adult in the eyes of the law! During next year, many things will change, but not, hopefully, how excited he gets when he sees his parents after a separation of five days, as I do not want that ever to alter.