|The board Monty is holding is Janvier, 1, Dimanche, Winter, 2012, a date to remember always...|
January 1st 2012
New Year’s day…
I wake up, kids hungry, full of excitement for the day, Esmie slept through the night for the first time in a year, a miracle, I know a few people prayed for this last night, and I was very low when I spoke to mum on New year’s eve, envisioning the fact I would have to take drastic measures to accomplish and get her to sleep through the night. I was prepared to put her out the back door, in the dark cold night, bend down, and tell her, it’s your decision, either you sleep outside, or you sleep through the night and stop waking mummy up…drastic times, but a friend of mine said it had worked with her girl, and I have no other answers….Between the hours of 11pm and 3.30 am, she wakes every half hour. Anyway, I went to bed low, New Year’s eve, waiting for Esmie to wake, and she did not!
A night’s refreshing sleep makes all the difference.
The kids are beside them selves with excitement about the day, I make toast and marmite, and hot chocolate for breakfast, we listen to music and play some of the games we got for Christmas, gathered round the table, the girl’s helping me prepare a big tortilla for lunch.
After lunch we step outside, what a glorious day! There are dozens of starlings making their call in the trees in our garden, we all rush to the door and listen, it’s beautiful. We get wellied up, no need for coats it’s so mild today, and we take the dog for a walk, smiling inside and out, even though I am, on the way back, wracked with nerves, wondering how it will go, to be honest, I know it’ll be alright, I wasn’t really anxious, it was just a big day…
We are finally bundled in the car, as I take the road along the river, the clouds, shaped like minoes darting through the blue sky, the sun blazing, birds everywhere, the scene couldn’t have been more prophetic.
We park up, finally at the clinic, and the kids are desperate to get in and see you.
So how did it go babe? Here’s the account, in case you forget.
You seem tired, but as you hear their little voices (well loud voices) you smile. I tell them you have presents hidden, and after Monty and Lola give you a kiss, Mitzi is hesitant, and Esmie too, who stays in my arms, they are over the moon, a plastic hologram cup each, princess ones for the girls, spider man for Monty, other bits and pieces and lots of chocolates, you point to the cupboard where they are hidden (luckily it's on the side you can us!). I give you big kisses on the lips, and Monty decides he wants to tell you his made up jokes,
‘What is white with bees in it?’
‘A yoghurt with a bees nest in it!’
You laugh at this, and he carries on,
‘What’s clear and full of bees?’
‘Water with a bees nest in it!’
I think they are all along the same theme, but bless him, he is so completely at ease, and chats away normally to you, not in the least bit phased, it’s incredible to watch Monty at 8-years-old accept you as you are, behave normally around you, not in the slightest bit troubled. Lola tells you she has ‘4 teeth who wibble’. Mitzi holds back, but gives you the present they bought you- a cuddly lion! We named it Aslan…Esmie wanders round looking at things, and Lola asks lots of questions, ‘why is daddy’s head on the side? Why are his eyes closed?' I answer each question, and she justs accepts it, and knows all this will come with time. She is so determined in her belief that you will be better one day, and understands it takes time. I have brought toys, they play around you, drink coke! (normally forbidden, but I tell them you let them), they all chorus, ‘oh thanks dad!’
You spend the time smiling, revelling in the energy and chatter the kids bring.
I managed to hold it together, when I first walk in, and I say, ‘hiya baby, look who I’ve brought in to see you’ my voice breaks, and tears fill my eyes, but the kids are amazing, so full of energy and life and acceptance, as always, and there are no issues what so ever.
At one point Mitzi cries, I think she found it quite overwhelming, but I cuddle her for a while, and she soon gets down and plays with the others as normal. Monty keeps coming up to you to tell you things, and is very tactile. At one point we decide to see who is stronger, you or Monty, and you have an arm wrestle, in the end, your hands are both sweaty and hot and they slip, so Monty calls it a draw and reckons he’s almost as strong as you now, so I tell you there’s some motivation babes, getting stronger than your 8-year-old son again!
The whole time you have your eyes shut with tiredness, but a smile that you guard.
At one point, as you seem to tremble a lot (due to the brain damage) on your right hand side, Monty comes over, I explain what I do to help calm you, I take your hand and tell you to gently relax, then stroke the top of your arm. He strokes it, and your trembling stops, Lola watches on. You try and show them how well your legs move, although the right one is tired and doesn’t move today, the left leg you bend at the knee and flatten again, you do this repeatedly, I then say that Lola needs to see a new trick, she’s seen that one, and she says ‘yeah, go on daddy’ and you lift your leg right up in the air, she collapses in laughter, and you laugh too. I hope each week you’ll have a new move to demonstrate!
With time, they will all be as Monty was today, Lola is nearly there, she spent a lot of time watching you, taking it all in. When we have to go, Monty comes over to kiss you, Lola too, Mitzi doesn’t want to, so I do not force the issue, it’ll come, and Esmie cuddles her head on you face, and you kiss her forehead. I get them to blow you kisses, you catch them with your right hand and place them on your face…they loved that.
It was an amazing day, the energy you were surrounded by, your reaction, your constant smile, holding ‘Aslan’ which Monty says can be your pet whist you're in here. It was incredible for me too, the fact that as a family now, we can have these moments, they are all taking part in your healing process, their natural acceptance, the fact they were not at all disturbed, this was just you, you are still their daddy, it doesn’t matter how you are, what you can or can’t do, you are their daddy, still you, and nothing will ever sever that. I am not the mummy rushing out to see their dad, without them, them missing you and not being able to get to you. we are all a part of it now. It is a big thing for me.
The bonds we form through love, neither fire can turn to cinders, nor thunder and lightening destroy, they stand, regardless, ever solid, ever vast.
Love is an amazing thing, look at what it has so far achieved for us Alex, and look how despite your ‘incapacitated’ state, the kids just see their dad, simply that.
I have been blown away by today. Bursting with pride, for you, the kids, and full of hope for our future as a family. What a way to start the new year…
I love you my angel, I know you’ll sleep well tonight!
See you in the morning, rest peacefully and with the memories of today…