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.