Life can be very tough with a disabled child. I do several appointments a week, often at hospitals – and these fill my days in a way I would never choose for myself. Parents of disabled children despair at their lack of time, money and love. These three things get set aside in the name of physio and medical assessments and working late into the evening once the kids are in bed.
So, I say to you, parents, put your child down! Their life will not benefit from constant pressure towards progress and no fun time playing on their own with their toys. Leave them be, and even let them cry for awhile, if it means your sanity will remain secure.
Your kids need that – you to be sane. They need you to go out with your friends and drink wine and share funny stories. They need you to hug your spouse. That’s right. They need the love that comes from two people, if you are lucky enough to have a spouse to share the load. They certainly don’t need the eye rolling and discussions about lists and pouting in the other room.
That is not fun.
And, so it was that I celebrated my 40th birthday properly. Not rushed in a quick meal down the road. Not rushed with a toast over dinner sitting in front of the television. I took myself and my family and friends and stayed in a palace, Hampton Court Palace, for the weekend.
Children pick up on the atmosphere of their parents. May, too. She has a long history of sensing negative situations. I worried that the kids wouldn’t enjoy it, because after all – despite what I said above, I would struggle to put them down if they became distressed. I certainly could not guarantee that May or Ieuan would appreciate the historical significance of Henry the VIII’s palace. But, I hoped they might like the garden attached to the house.
And, they did! May delighted at the cobblestone and pebbled paths throughout the palace. She loves the vibrations of her buggy juttering over stones. I could never have predicted that. And, Ieuan loved the house and its many doors and trying to out run us to the grand staircase that was just perfect for climbing. It was baby paradise.
More importantly – and it was – we enjoyed it. We deserved it.
Selfishness is gooooood.
Photos from our weekend adventure: