Do you ever feel like you blink and suddenly you’re two months down the line?
This happened to us this morning – it was almost like waking in a different universe!
I woke-up, checked my phone to see that it said 6:57, I mean what? Woke the husband, “Babe it’s nearly 7!” Jumps-up and runs the shower as he leaves just after 8am for work and likes to help get the kids ready before he leaves. Both our kids (as many of you know, one 5 year-old FASD adopted son and a 1 year-old birth son), slept in past 7am. I mean this has never happened before. At this point I’m literally laying in bed in shock and suddenly I hear my 5 year-old’s door creep open and no footsteps... Until I then hear him sneak into his brothers room and say, "good morning." Well, the laugh and chuckle that came out of both my sons at that moment melted my heart. Sometimes at moments like these you forget what's happened. You forget the irreversible disability and you just get to live in the moment – something I think we often don't get to do with our FASD kids, because your brain tends to be in constant overload trying to help or work something out for them. So, that was my morning, perfect and refreshed from a very rare decent nights sleep. Our little man also has respite care today so he’ll be running around with his toy dogs and cows dressed as a police officer, in his own perfect imaginative world for 5 hours whilst I get some quality time with baby.
Anyway, besides my glorious morning which I will bet on not lasting I wanted to delve into the world of summer holidays! If you just rolled your eyes or sighed then you’re on the same adventure as me. I used to think half-terms were challenging but boy I clearly hadn’t gotten into a 6 week holiday yet!
We broke-up from school on 20th July, and attempted a family holiday the following week. I soon worked out that we hadn’t quite fully processed that school was finished and of course me (mummy), was a 'very nasty and evil person' from taking him away from school. I had ruined his life, etc. I’m sure you can all carry on that list too. After much aggression and a huge amount of deregulation we decided to come home and forget the holiday every happened. Behaviours carried on well into the second week and to be honest it has almost broken me but now into the 3rd week and things are starting to look as if they could be turning around or least thats what a good night sleep has made me believe at least.
I have booked myself a two-hour pamper session, which is very hard for me as I don’t often spend any money on myself but it was my treat to myself for surviving the holidays eventually and more importantly my huge willingness to start taking a greater role within self-care.
I worked out pretty early into the holidays' that space had become a huge issue for our guy and was causing many a problems within our household. He was retreating to smaller areas in our house and causing chaos any way he could. I made the rash decision to move his bedroom with his brothers and put him into the smallest bedroom, I did question myself as always about the change and how his going to cope with it but actually I am so pleased we finally did it. He seems to be sleeping better, he is using it again as his safe space when he needs it and he is obviously feeling much safer in a smaller enclosed space.
I’m not quite sure what these holidays' haven't brought us yet. We've struggled with weather – the heat and now then the heat reduction, the rain and storms. We’ve learnt to ride a scooter and then forgotten how to ride it the next day. We’ve had a huge change in routine and lack of structure and a complete lack of wanting to keep up any school or learning activities – but it has allowed me to take a step back and try to just go with my sons flow, rather than force his flow in certain directions. It's allowed us to forget the stress of school and just breath for ourselves. Don't get me wrong, I am still keeping things very structured but I’m also throwing in some curve balls to see how he can cope... And so far, so good. These holidays have taught me that everyday is hard for them. I forget far to easily sometimes that his brain damage will always be there and I need to remember even when his biting me and pulling my hair out in a rage. That all I need to do is reassure him that I love him and that as a family we will always get through these moments. It might not be now and it might reconcile in the next day but we will get through it stronger than ever, don't ever let anyone make you feel any different! Chin-up everyone, we are almost half way through.