Happy New Year everyone!
From my point of view, I hope it will be a better one than last year!
I can remember last New Year's Eve (2007), celebrating with my daughter and grandsons, who happened to be holidaying with us. We'd all stayed up late to let in the New Year with a family friend. We'd played games with the children while we sat round the table and drank wine (the children didn't, honestly!)
Little did we know then, that within the coming year, Deb would be left a widow. Just as well we never know what is in store for us. Now I am being a damper...... but it does make you wonder.
Once again, the family have been staying with us over the Christmas holiday and we are about to let in another New Year and we cannot help but be slightly apprehensive about what the year holds for us.
On Boxing Day we went to London Victoria by coach ( a rather bizarre thing to do as Deb was getting quite near to home again and had already travelled across England once, to be with us!) We had backtracked to London to see a musical in the West End, *Joseph* starring Lee Mead.
After the show, which we all enjoyed, Deb had been hoping to get her programme autographed but all she received from Lee, after queuing, was a pre signed photo, which was better than nothing, I suppose. She never got to chat to him, though.
I travelled quite happily back to Victoria by tube train. As long as I have someone with me who knows what they are doing, I don't mind the Tube a bit!
Deb has caught up with a good few "old" friends from school and her nursing training days and we have visited relatives and travelled to The Midlands to see Deb's mother in law, who had been staying with her other son over Christmas. A difficult time for her, as you can imagine.
Rick and Dean, my two grandson's have been great while staying with us and we have been glad of their company. Rick, the oldest who was recently diagnosed with autism, seems to be doing very well and has lost the anger that he displayed after the death of his father. He is much calmer now, and did so much better at school last term, probably because he has a special helper.
Deb and I have been reading some very helpful books on the subject of autism. I have found this to be particularly helpful in trying to understand how my grandson's mind might be working and how confused he must be when I don't understand why he sometimes doesn't respond to me the way I would like him to. I realize that I must find different approaches if I want to make breakthroughs concerning behaviour and understanding what makes him tick. Good progress has been made with those things, during the holiday, though.
One of the hardest things to deal with is the fact that Rick will only eat certain brands of food like bread and the soya milk that he has to have. If we cannot get hold of a particular brand, he refuses to eat or drink it. (He knows it is different without seeing the container, just by taste). As he is so thin, we cannot just let him go without.
Deb has joined a few organizations and went on some trips with the boys before she came to us and she seems to be building up a better social life now.
One thing that books have taught me is just how diverse this condition is and how different each child is one from another. No easy answers, much of it is to follow instincts and wait and see.
You might be wondering how I am finding time to read these books! Deb brought a few over with her, lent by Rick's school, so obviously I have to read them fast. Every time I have an opportunity, I open up and read some more. I love books anyway and have a whole stack of books waiting to be read that I had as presents!
Our granddaughters, Amber and Millie, and parents, went back to Japan before Christmas, to visit the other grandparents and relatives, who really miss them all. They are due to fly back very soon and sleep off their jet lag before school starts again.
Anyway....... Happy New Year Folks!
Hoping that 2009 will prove to be a good year for you all and I wish everyone peace.
Things look frightening in the middle east and the credit crunch is making our lives difficult, but surely there is always the possibility of peace in our own lives and this is my wish for you all...... peace.