This weekend we had respite. A short break, if you like.
Almost exactly a year after we lost it.
It’s a little hard to put into words just how unbelievably….
It’s not perfect, but it may just be the valve we need to haul us through.
Social Services, unable to find us a placement close to home, suggested a short term solution. There’s a couple in a little town about an hour from here (it’s only 20 odd miles but picture: slow roads, single carriageways and tractors, lots of tractors…). They have a lovely bungalow and a spare room to accommodate the tent bed that we use for Alex when we go away. They are lovely. It feels like he is going into a family for the weekend, not just people looking after him – does that make sense? And they ask nurturing questions: what’s his routine, what does he like best, would he like visiting this place? Everything about them makes me think he’s in good hands.
So we tried a few hours one weekend, let him stay by himself and they gave him lunch. All seemed fine.
So last weekend, with my lovely Mum looking after Emma, we dropped him on Saturday afternoon, to be picked up on the Sunday.
And we stayed – just the two of us – about half an hour away.
Just the two of us!!
And we had fun.
Remembered what we were like without the added complications our complicated child brings to our lives.
We drank beer.
We ate fish and chips.
We watched the sun go down.
We stayed in a terrible, terrible hotel… but it really didn’t matter.
Because we slowed down.
Regained our own pace for 24 hours.
And as we went to pick Alex up on the Sunday… I had a small cry.
Not because I didn’t want to see him.
Not because I didn’t want our family back together.
But because… dear God we forgot.
We forgot how much we needed that break. You push through, because you have to, because you love your child, but… I’m so glad there are people out there to care for my son again. To let us come up for air.
And I just hope they’ll stay with us for enough time to find our long term solution too.