The weekends seem to fly by very fast, even when you do have Fridays off like I do . Perhaps this weekend went even faster because we had our 24 hours away from home? We are very spoilt because Joshua will be at his new respite provision this coming Friday overnight for the first time. He will go straight from school with his usual taxi driver and hopefully will not get too snarled up in rush hour traffic. He will have his evening meal on arrival and will stay overnight and all day Saturday until I collect him again at 6pm.
I really hope that he has fun , as that will help me to relax and enjoy our break. I predict that he will spend much of his stay asleep: he is often worn out by five days at school but also, Joshua uses sleep as a defence mechanism when faced with something unfamiliar – we have frequently seen that behaviour on hospital visits. Friends and family often suggest that we use this respite time to go away for weekends, perhaps book a hotel in Cumbria to see the Lakes or go to visit the many castles of Northumbria. While these trips may be fun once in a while, for me respite will be about recharging the batteries and doing normal things that others take for granted when they have a teenager , with no special needs:
It’s about spontaneously deciding to go out in the evening without needing to arrange child care, it’s about us both being able to go out on Saturday morning rather than one of us staying home as Joshua is still in bed until lunchtime! It’s about being able to go to bed, and get up, when I want to rather than when Joshua dictates. It’s about going into more than one shop on a shopping spree if that is what I choose to do. So actually, it is the more mundane things that will make a difference .
Hopefully Joshua will gain more independence being away from his parents for one weekend in every four too and that they will organise some fun activities for him too. I am sure that the break from each other will make us both appreciate each other so much more. I just wish that I could explain to him, in words that he understands, what is going to happen so that he does not fret. I am sure he will adapt ,as he is not usually a panicker, but takes most things in his stride.