The lights, tree fluffing, and greenery draping have taken place… and incredibly early at our house this year – thanks to my sweet cheeks of a daughter!
It really is my intention to calmly saunter my way nonchalantly with small sashays of my sparkly-clad hips into Christmas, pausing momentarily to admire my perfectly decorated and present-laden tree, whilst sipping a glass full of sparkles.
Which will, of course, ensure the afore mentioned hips are well and truly shimmying !!! HA! And which movie have I been watching?! However intention is a good thing and all good things start with intention!
Reality may (will) of course be somewhat different, tho I truly hope that by the time you read this I shall be somewhat nearer my dream of organisation.
So… what's been occurring for us all… I hope you've all been well, last week was quite lovely for me. I was asked some time ago to be a guest speaker at a meeting of a group of parents with special needs children. I was just giving over the details of Up on Downs (the brilliant Hertfordshire based support group who have supported my family) when she said "Actually Claire! It's really YOU that I wanted to ask to speak"!
Ok, so I know that I speak – lots for my job! – but to be asked to share my story as Tom's mum, our life and journey thus far, was quite a different thing. I agreed, of course as you do, five months before the actual date.
Though when the day loomed… I thought… aaaargh and loads of 'what if's' flooded into my head. I definitely didn't want to offend anyone who may be coping with considerably more than we are with Tom, or for that matter offend anyone by presuming they are in a more challenging situation than we are. I'm so aware all of us are completely different in all we do and how we deal with it…
However, as I flew out of the house, I instinctively grabbed two pictures off the wall, two favourites of mine. They showed who we all are as a family unit. I'm glad I did, as it made sure Tom was real (if that makes sense).
My nerves turned out to be unfounded as it was a lovely intimate gathering of Mums. After I finished my chat, we all chatted (even more!) and shared stories – of course we all had a common bond. I felt so thrilled when later that evening I received a message from a friend, who had in turn received a message from her friend who I had met earlier, saying she had found my talk emotional and inspirational. The word inspirational was such a joy to read.
Jan, the lady who organises these meetings, sent me an email suggesting I had the ability to life coach or inspire if I needed a change from QVC!!! Well, just in case you're reading QVC, I love my job…not looking to move!! But gosh what a lovely email, and now on my fridge to remind me that, in some tiny way, I helped.
Talking of helping, I also ran a charity event, where I raised a sum of money for Up on Downs. How lucky I am to be in a position to do this?! I feel very grateful that I can give back to a great group who have supported us through our life so far with Tom. They are now there for new parents who need care and help in those early days.
I follow some incredible people on Twitter who write some beautiful, heart-warming blogs and do so very much to raise awareness, dispel the myths and quite simply spread the joy! I know these blogs offer such comfort to many in similar situations.
The unstoppable pace of life I have previously discussed with you continues… relentlessly!
Maddie has had tap exams and presentation days, at least no pantomime runs and chaperoning as yet (unlike Jilly Halliday who is racing madly around like a taxi, I don't envy her!).
Maddie is definitely working through a few difficulties with her friendships at the moment…it's a hard situation to deal with as I'm so aware that how she learns things is setting her up for her future life and relationships. I'm trying to do and say the right things… but it's hard to see her experiencing tough things at such a weeny age.
Joe, my Boy Scout has survived a night hike… aaaargh! His poor little legs were aching and he came home and immediately went to bed, a good three hour rest was required. Though I don't think the sleeping in a tent bit has particularly helped him as he's coughing like a goodun. I'm really hoping we don't repeat last year where we were all soooooo ill for sooooo long!
A spade for children like Tom with a footprint leverage, fleece inner soles, adjustable handle bars, and soft grip handles. Tho Madd's skipping rope had to suffice for our model!!!! His tech teacher was impressed… so was I!! Watch this space…
Dan is working over and above capacity, though it seems a trifle odd that people want their gardens doing for Christmas… Decorating/carpet laying /curtain making? Yes I can see those trades must go mad at this time of year… but landscaping?!
I am most certainly not complaining though as these children of mine have a delightful list they've written for Father Christmas… Ranging from "cool clothes" (Tom) "mobile phone with internet access"… Hmmm (Joe) to "a baby girl dolly" (Maddie). As the years are flying by I shall indulge in any sweet request for little girl stuff, even though it may be a fleeting moment. JUST to hold back the advancing years.
Christmas for us will be Mummy and her man joining us on Christmas Eve and awakening with us on the big day. Then we shall be off to Dan's sister's for the feast, (she is currently renting a fab house… I think the Queen mother grew up there!!)
We shall walk the amazing grounds with all our four-legged-lovelies in preparation for indulgence! Once we can move after all the food we will lounge around by the massive open fire on her big squashy sofas. NO hostess with the mostest for me this year, yippee! I shall be a… guest! How wonderful.
New Year will be welcomed in for us at our family cottage in North Yorkshire, with some best friends and their boys. Suffice to say there will be fun all round! And a good dose of laughter too, I am certain of that.
I truly hope for all of you and your precious people that it is a Christmas to remember for the most loveliest reasons and that we all have an opportunity to relax and enjoy each other. Let's remember what Christmas is really all about and gear ourselves up for a year ahead which will bring peace and contentment in abundance.
My thrill at seeing your responses to my blogs never lessens, so, with anticipation…
I'll say farewell…for now! and will look forward to finding out from you , all of your Christmas fun and frolics…
With my love,
Oh, and HAPPY HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!!!! X