Reality 2017

What do you do?

When you realise that 2017 is the year that your special needs child is turning 18?

When it hits home that this should be his last year of schooling?

When it dawns on you that this is the year he qualifies for a driver's licence?

When your heart pangs over the fact that he will not be spreading his wings ~ leaving home ~ getting a girlfriend ~ going to University ~ becoming independent?

What would you do?

How am I feeling?

Sad that my son is missing out on so much.

Sad that my son has no idea on what he is missing out on.

Sad for myself because each huge milestone missed is painful.

Sad for my other child because ultimately he will have to take on the responsibility of his brother.

Sad because one day I won't be here to look after him.

Sad that I am going to be a carer for the rest of my life. #donotjudge

Sad that I am not going to have empty nest syndrome.

Sad that my neurotypical friends are able to do what I can't do.

How would you feel?

What am I doing?

Having a wee cry every now and then.

Staying off social media.

Hanging out with other special needs parents, as they are the only ones who really understand.

Accepting that it is okay to have these sad feelings.

Understanding that grief has to be addressed and not buried away.

Exercising to keep the body strong.

Taking up Yoga to help find peace in the moment.

Drinking the occasional glass of wine.

Thinking up travel treats to get myself through this huge milestone.

Playing with my camera because I love it and it's a good switch off from reality!

What are you doing?

Hello 2017

Wow, where has the time gone? I have so many little stories to tell but am unsure of where to start!

Our family recently spent five weeks with my side of the family in New Zealand, including three nights in Sydney. Nick was a rock star. He handled everything that was thrown his way, and believe me, we packed a lot into our holiday. I am just blown away by his resilience, flexibility and gentle ways.

Nick was bombarded with family life, noise and mayhem. Very different to our home life back in South Africa. I do confess that he had far too much screen time with that iPad of his... but hey ho, I noticed all the other teens also glued to their screens.

I was reminded of our first visit to a restaurant four years ago and it highlighted to me how much my Nick has progressed. Thanks go to RDI and our lovely team of people behind the scenes.