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because I’m worth it…

9 Aug

>We are sending our eldest son Samuel to a Scripture Union holiday this summer for the first time. In fact – he should be there by now; Mr Wibbs was dropping him off as I think I would’ve found it a little traumatic, to say the least…

The way this opportunity became available has God’s fingerprints all over it.

At the beginning of the summer holidays, or rather two days into them, I was already crying out for a break from Sam. He was going round in circles, constantly bored and at a loose end; and driving me and his little brothers nuts in the process.

One evening I went for a walk alone, as is my wont, and I cried out to God. I then sent a few texts round asking for prayers. Mum soon phoned me in response (both our sets of parents are such a godly, wise support for us…even though we are sometimes not so gracious in receiving their advice and counsel…); as we chatted it became clear that I was going to have to think of a way to send Sam away in the summer holidays, at least some of the time, ie a week or so, so that he could be with kids his own age, experience something different to home/school life … and also so that I wouldn’t go completely insane trying to keep him occupied for six whole weeks.

(and yes, that sentence was too long.)

Dad immediately started looking online for SU holidays, just to see what was ‘out there’. Just out of interest. Just in case maybe, just maybe, there might to be something Sam might be able to go to THIS SUMMER… A link to this holiday arrived in my inbox less than 15 minutes after I’d finished talking to Mum on the phone, and less than 24 hours later, the booking forms were in the post with a cheque…!! The holiday seemed a perfect fit for Sam: a week-long adventure bible ‘camp’ for 8-11 year olds, AWAY from home, a really decent price (£158 all-inclusive) and only about 45 minutes drive from where we live! And the best thing about it?? …there was ONE SPACE LEFT FOR A 8/9 YEAR-OLD BOY.

Too perfect to be a coincidence, really.
Which is how I know it was God-ordained; He planned it all.

Because Sam needs this, and it is going to benefit him in every conceivable way, and especially in his walk with the Lord.
I know he will be in good hands and looked after by people who will love him, accept him, and pray for him.

So I can relax and have some ‘respite’ from this challenging little boy of mine, safe in the knowledge that he will be FINE.
Because I need and deserve a break.
Because I’m worth it.


The Stuff of Summer

6 Aug

>Sun-ripening wild blackberries and little red coxes growing randomly on an apple tree just outside our house…generously waiting to be picked and then made into a delicious apple&blackberry crumble sometime in the next few days.Children sneaking out for an early-morning bounce in their PJs before dancing barefoot back into the house for breakfastRefreshing bite-sized chunks of juicy watermelon ready to be feasted onPlaying on the new waterslide purchased yesterday, on the advice of a dear friend who, herself being in possession of identical slide, guarantees hours of hilarity and muddiness if used apropriately(…yes, that does indeed mean cute little naked bottoms are preferable to nylon-clad ones...)Decorating gingerbread men (again)…because they’re there……and because we can…While daddy continues to look for our dream-home…and mummy makes puke-coloured playdough…that munchkins subsequently play with for hours when the weather has turned to rain – againSuch is the Stuff of Summer in our parts. Pretty much.

A successful bonding trip

4 Aug

>While i’ve been busy scouring the Internet-based plethora of property-finding search-engines for the last two days, Sam (8 & 3 quarters)……and his Daddy (a ‘tad’ older)……took a ferry across to the Isle of Wight……with bikes and rain coats…as well as swimming gear…!(I know I already posted this one yesterday – but I like it. Ok?)…for a special, well planned out (- by Sam; I mean what do you expect from a child with ASD?!!), father-son trip.

By all accounts they had a super, if exhausting time. I will no doubt hear all about it all later in glorious technicolour from my chatterbox of a son, who will be eager to give me a detailed account of the ice-skating, the visit to the circus, the theme-park, a night at a bed-and-breakfast, gallons of coke and other forms of junk ‘food’; tales of swimming in the sea, of riding bikes around parts of this incredulously beautiful island, and of visiting old haunts…

Me? I was at the other end of the phone, missing them but delighted all the same by this serendipitous bonding adventure.

Aren’t Daddies just GREAT?!!!!

It’s warmer in Cape Town than it is here…

27 Jul

…and it’s WINTER over there, for crying out loud!!!

Our normal British Summer temperatures are lower than theirs are in winter.
I’m sitting out at every opportunity in the little bit of sun we are blessed to have, wearing a vest, and actually finding it quite pleasantly warm.
So why do my lovely South African friends call it ‘freezing’ at 21*C…?!?
I’d gladly swap their winter for our summer.
I am seriously missing this:And this:And this:And this:
…Is hot weather too much to ask for in SUMMER?!?!???

After the rain

24 Jul

I went for a walk before sunset tonight.
The sky was sublime, great big fluffs of pink butter icing floating just above the horizon.And on the other side, the roof of the woods and the fields below were gently silhouetted against an intensifying orange-tinged heaven…(…The photos really don’t do it justice – but they never do, do they?)

And the highlights of the day until then, were as follow: Thomas became the proud owner of his first ever bicycleMy parents called and we, the boys, the grandparents and their daughter, spoke for at least 1 hour and 1/2, as is our wont.They found a house, you see, and wanted to share their news 🙂 – will maybe post a couple of pictures tomorrow, if permission is granted by the master photographer, aka NBP.

So, all in all, not a bad day.
To God be all glory.

Holiday wings #2

23 Jul

I love the sense of freedom that comes with saying goodbye to term-time stresses for 6 weeks.

No more lunches to prepare and pack, no more rush to get to the school gate on time (ie. 8:58am…ahem…yeah…*embarrassed grin*); and no more apprehensive waits AT the school gate later on in the day, hoping against all hope that Sam might come out telling me he had a ‘brilliant’ time – yet knowing that, mostly, he will be grumpy, sullen, unpredictable, irritable and incapable (or unwilling?) to give me even the briefest account of what he did that day.

No more spoonfed Weetabix in front on Cbeebies. Tom can eat his breakfast on his own, AND TAKE HIS TIME…!! He can also stay in his jammies all day – as can we all (oh the bliss), instead of being manhandled into some clothes that are not of his choosing, and that he never had any intention of wearing in the first place. Oh and while we’re at it he can stay in nappies for all I care! I am no professional when it comes to toilet-training a child who has NO desire to do so…and who soils himself every 5 minutes and has no real awareness of doing so. (…that’s a mental not a physical thing by the way. He definitely feels it when it comes… Erm. I know. Sorry – that can wait another time…!)

This is not to say there is absolutely no routine or structure to our days during holidays. That would be hell on earth in a household where ASD and other ‘challenges’ are present. But instead of the rigidity of a school timetable there is flexibility . And flexibility is, believe it or not, an important skill to learn for a person with Aspergers like Sam, or even mild ASD like Ben. They have to learn to function in an environment where they have to bring in a bit of their own structure. I do not spoonfeed them ideas of activities to do, games to play, etc… I largely tend to encourage them to just ‘play’ and watch nervously! Most of the time, there are usually fights, tears and angry words in the end. But it’s all part of life and so I believe valuable lessons are learnt here too.‘Ladies and Gentlemen, prepare for TAKE OFF!!’

Holiday wings

23 Jul

The summer holidays have begun!!!
The boys are FREEEEE…!And to mark the occasion, we bought shoes. Summer shoes. For hot weather. For beach days. Shoes bought in hope and anticipation of less grumpy skies…(yes that IS a terrible photograph, it was taken in haste with my iPhone before another downpour… During which said iPhone was indeed left outside)
Hmmm. No rain??
That’s asking a lot. And then some.

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