Well HELLO from a Mojito filled, relaxed, slightly tanned (sun burnt) and recharged ASD Mumma.
It's been a whole 10 days away from the keyboard.... Oh how I have missed writing!
Since I was little, I have always wanted to write my own book ( my own secret dream). I don't know what I would write about yet... but starting this blogging journey and then taking leave has made me realize even more how much I like to express myself through writing.
So, before we went away on our little family holiday, I felt like a tightly wound ball of wool. I was beat. I was really tired from the constant therapy, school drop offs, specialist appointments and everyday demands of life as a mother. The stress of James not eating food, specialists now wanting to do more tests etc etc etc
I was bloody stressed out.
I was so wound up when we got on the cruise ship that it took me to about day 5 to start peeling back the layers of stress that was spun so tightly around my body.
The first few Mojitos helped but I couldn't stop thinking about all the things I had to do when I arrived back home.
I let that go. Put all my 'to do's' in a box and shifted it to the back of my mind.
We had an amazing family holiday, all the details no doubt will come up in the next few blog posts (sorry in advance).
On my holiday, I didn't cook, clean, make beds.
I was served pretty much day and night.
The crew aboard our ship were amazing.
Carnival cruises had us down as 'priority' for James' benefit. You could not fault their help at all. When we got to immigration I told the lady who we were, she was waiting for us. She personally ushered us to the front of a line that looked about 500 people deep. From check in we were taken straight on to the ship and to our room. A++ for service. When it came to tendering we were personally escorted by guest services to the tender boats via elevators. We were absolutely treated like 'priority' guests and as a result we had an amazing holiday, meltdown free. Carnival cruises absolutely understand special needs and all their staff and crew were amazing with James, I have not traveled on a cruise liner so dedicated to this kind of detail.
4.30pm Sunday 13th November 2016.
The cruise ship was getting ready to leave Sydney.
Scarlett was asleep in the pram.
I had a Mojito in hand.
Walking around the ship I came across this little section called 'the jungle', as I walked around the 'jungle' I noticed a little boy looking in all the mirrors, he was looking through the corner of his eye, really close to the mirror, he was walking on his toes with the most amazing smile on his face. His Mum was close by, cautiously close.
The thought ran through my mind, do I ask? don't I ask?
I asked....'does he have additional needs'?
His Mum proudly announced in a confident voice with a smile, 'yes, he has Autism. He is non verbal.'
The first thing I did was bend down to his level and say hello. He gave me a cuddle.
He had the most beautiful nature and personality, he didn't need to be verbal to see his soul.
We saw this family multiple times around the ship during the 10days, every time I saw the Mum I thought how amazing she was. Then I realized it was like looking in the mirror... this is what people see when they comment on my mothering. It was really beautiful to see them interact, not because he had additional needs but because I know her pain and I know her love. I have cried similar tears. Fought similar battles. And have the same protective love that she has.
We all have children that are different but the love we have for our children is unconditional, special needs, additional needs, whatever the label.