Every family are on a journey. Our little family is on a journey too, only our journey is different, we don’t know where we are headed. My good friend and fellow SWAN Mummy recently blogged about her family’s journey. She likened it to a car journey, with the car becoming more packed and the load becoming heavier with the equipment and the extra passengers on board http://areyoukiddingney.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/signposts-milestones-and-millstones/ I can fully relate to this and it has inspired me to continue with the car theme to describe our journey.
Our journey started about 2 years ago. At that point our load in the car was very light, just me Isabella and her Daddy. (and Daisy our Dog) We were sat in the Car Park for sometime, waiting for someone to tell us our destination. We had a map and we were guessing as to where we were headed, but were clueless. Now as the time has gone on the destination is still unknown and we are still clueless, but we are on the road. Our car is pretty full and we have a SALT, OT, pediatrician, Advisory Teacher, Neurologist and Physio on board. Not to mention the specialist equipment; a standing frame, corner seat, bath seat and Bee chair. The journey to date has been particularly bumpy and on many occasions we have wanted to throw some of the passengers out of the car! Like any long car journey tempers can become frayed. We have had scheduled stops and had to make a couple of detours, on the whole we have kept chugging along. Very recently though I have found the car coming to a stop sign suddenly, usually when this has happened we have stopped briefly and motored on.
This time with myself behind the wheel I have stalled the car and struggled to move off again. The stop sign on this occasion was Paul and I watching our Wedding and Honeymoon Video with Isabella. We were watching it, as we were showing Isabella where we are going on holiday for Christmas. You see Paul and I got married in Las Vegas and thought Isabella would love the bright lights and all the sparkle that is Las Vegas.
We looked at each other, as we watched back the vows that we had written. Paul told me that he couldn’t wait to start a journey with me that began that day. I felt my throat get tight and my eyes fill, then I saw myself utter the words that I wanted to have his children. I swallowed hard. Later on in the video both Paul and I apologise to our future children; Paul for swearing and myself for talking about my wedding negligee! I looked over to Isabella, she was unaware of Mummy and Daddy on the telly or what she had heard. She was busy smiling, as she does, watching her hand that involuntarily moves into her line of vision. I held her hand and kissed her. That I think was one of the very first times the reality of it all stopped me in my tracks. I truly understood the meaning ‘Reality Bites’.
Then however she did something that made me want to cry with happiness. Although hadn’t seemed to notice Mummy or Daddy, she heard a familiar voice and looked directly at the telly and smiled. It was her Grandfather my Dad, Pops as she knows him. She laughed. Perhaps she had thought it was like skype, either way it made us both very proud.
Chugging along in the car these past few weeks there has been a lot of debris in the road that we have had to swerve around and on occasion stop and fix a puncture. Just this Saturday I was out food shopping without Isabella. Food shopping is never particularly pleasurable and this time it certainly wasn’t. I heard a Mother say to her child, who was sitting in the trolley blowing a windmill, ‘If you blow that windmill in my face one more time, I will stick it where the sun doesn’t shine!’ I was gobsmacked. Even the gentleman next to me was taken aback. Then a few minutes later I heard a Father say to his Daughter, ‘Will you just shut up I am trying on concentrate on shopping!’ I don’t know how I didn’t slap these two ungrateful people and tell them how lucky they are to be able to have a conversation with their child, for their child to say I love You. I have heard comments like this before, but this time they really got to me. It could have been for the fact that I had my right arm missing, whatever it was it threw me of kilter.
Just today I was in awe of a Mother and her Daughter, this time it gave me happy thoughts not anger. The Mother was sitting across from her Daughter. They were deep in conversation. Both of their eyes were twinkling and they had the biggest smiles on their faces. The little girl wasn’t much older than Isabella. (Then again she could have been, as I said before I have no concept of children and their ages.) They reminded me of Isabella and I. We often sit and chat. Isabella’s beautiful eyes twinkling and her smile captivating me. My eyes twinkling with her beautiful reflection and smiling because her smile is contagious. Anyone looking at the pair of us would see a Mother and Daughter with a very strong bond and a great love for each other. If they listened in though they wouldn’t understand the conversation, they would get the gist though I am sure.
I can’t understand what Isabella says, I can only guess. She may not be able to speak in the conventional way like you and I, but boy does she try. She screams and yells in excitement and giggles and laughs. I know in her own little way she tells her Mummy and Daddy that she loves them very much and although we hope that in the future she will say more, just seeing and hearing her like this makes us both very happy.
A while ago Isabella and I were out shopping together. We keep our shopping trips short, as Isabella is not a fan ( I think Daddy trained her to dislike shopping!) I saw a Mother and her Daughter out shopping too. Her Daughter was in a Wheelchair. They were both smiling and laughing. The Daughter was much older than Isabella – a Teenager. The Mother was slightly older than me, slighter more grey and a bit more tired looking, but she was happy. They both were. It may have been a glimpse into the future..
So having taken a brief stop I have refuelled and I am back on the road now chugging along, once again. I know there will be lots more unscheduled stops along the way, bumps in the road, diversions but I (we) can face them head on and ‘As long as Isabella is happy then we are.’ That is our family slogan, our bumper sticker, the rule we live by.