A letter to me…

Hey you. Yes you. I can see you, standing by the sink crying over the dishes. I see you. I have to tell you something, and it’s really, really important.

It’s not your fault.

No, really, it isn’t.

I know there’s a list as long as you can make it; falling and breaking your ankle at 11 weeks, that really awful, awful line manager at work who made you cry almost daily. The fact you miscarried two times beforehand was not A Sign and being over 30 wasn’t it either… None of it matters. Genetics is just genetics. Something didn’t fuse properly this time round, and so here you are. With your beautiful boy.

Right now, you’re at the start of your journey. Remember how you took 12 week old Small to the GP to say something wasn’t right, he was a bit floppy, wasn’t making eye contact, and remember how she said he probably had Aspergers and sent you to cry in the toilets with a couple of useless leaflets? She was crap wasn’t she? Don’t ever go to see her again. The next GP was better. Well done for getting a second opinion. Said it was neurological, said it matter of factly and let you ask questions. Then you went home, numb to the core, clutching your little boy and wondering what you’d done to deserve this. Somehow you and OH got through that day, that night and the next few days.

You are about to embark on the most incredible journey, probably the hardest of your life but – and here’s the spoiler, so look away now if you don’t want to know – you’re going to be alright. I’ll be honest, there are times when you will want to give up, when you will wish you could leave, that Small had never been born, but this will pass. What’s more, your marriage will survive, and Big… she’s going to be brilliant. She will love Small, be his biggest fan and champion him all the way. Don’t forget her though – in the midst of everything she will need you too.

And, whilst all this is going on, remember to make time for you. Parenting is hard, really hard, you know this already. But life with Small will be tough. You will look at other children his age, and little pieces of you will break. You will look at other families with two children and you will cry. So do, really do, make time to smell the coffee, drink the wine, look at the view. This will seem hugely indulgent, but oh so necessary. And the ironing? Sometimes, just don’t do it.

You – yes you, Ms control freak, Ms I can manage, I’m coping just fine – will need to let many many people into your house to help you. But they will, and they will do it willingly because Small is going to grow into the funniest, happiest little boy (who will find chocolate particularly motivational). I promise that you will work out ways to build a new life that the 4 of you can live together. And. There will be so much laughter in your house that you never ever thought possible.

Love, me.

This was inspired by a wonderful blog post which you can find here:
http://premmeditations.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/dear-me-a-letter-to-myself/

Reasons to be cheerful, 123

They don’t happen very often, do they? Those moments where you think Ooh, everything is…ok?

But right now, I am having one and, in the interests of keeping myself sane when everything falls over again, I feel the need to mark it, to note it, to say here, here all was well.

There is a feeling of blossoming at our home. It may well have something to do with the sunshine, which just makes the world feel better doesn’t it? But there’s more to it than that I think. Small is making strides in his development (and when I say strides, you understand that I mean glacial, blink-and-you’ll-miss-them if these were out in the normal world, strides?). He is making beautiful babbly sounds. Anything that delights him is a d-d-d-d-d-doi-doi-doi-doi. Equally, he will show off his true consonant talents to the nearest packet of wipes – they are a rapt audience. As are we. I cannot hear enough of it.

He is weight bearing. Just for a few seconds, hanging on to the laundry basket, or his Daddy bouncing him across the kitchen floor, but he is doing it. When we encourage him to take a step, he’s not resistant, so we encourage and encourage and encourage in the hope that this goes in. He has stopped indiscriminately lurching when we carry him. Or when he does, he thinks it’s funny, whereas previously he was purely looking for his safe space. He can See More. No doubt. He is becoming more aware of noises, where they come from and What Are They? He can drink from his sippy cup without the lid. It’s the messiest thing you ever saw as he will drink it, then flap in delight and throw the water Everywhere. But it is a beginning. This achievement is pure nursery, not us. I Love Nursery and their overwhelming positive belief in Small.

Our extension is finally begun. Where right now we only have one room on the ground floor that is liveable in, by the autumn we will have a clear run through for kitchen, dining room, wet room. Wet room. Because Small’s room is going downstairs. Slight cloud here as the lounge we had pictured in our forever house is going to have to be somehow crowbarred upstairs… but this is small potatoes to the ease with which having Small on one level will bring. My back, ankles and knees will live to see another day.

And respite, what about respite? Good God, the difference it has made in such a short space of time. Because there is a block of time, every fortnight, when my beautiful boy goes off to Someone Else, life has changed immeasurably. I can plan fun stuff to do with Big (where *has* Big been in this post? Busily make-and do-ing, that’s what. Using my selloptape too). We have been to the beach, flown kites, had picnics, watched movies, eaten far too much popcorn and had breakfast in a slow, quiet way. I have been shopping with my Mum. OH has gone cycling guilt-free. For once.

I can see scary stuff on the horizon. SS wants to formalise our respite package. We don’t. My OT is bringing in a more industrial bed (a high/ low back-saving solution. ‘Honestly, when you put the cover on and loads of toys, you’ll never know it’s a hospital bed’. Really??) and a contraption to get Small into the Bath. We have to go and look at schools. But right now, this moment, it’s a good one.