I knew it was coming. I picked you up from school and was handed a letter. It read ‘a whole school trip to the pantomime’ and I felt sad. I looked at you Sonny and you were happy. You smiled at me with your cheeky grin and those big blue eyes, I smiled back and ruffled your hair before tucking the letter into my bag. You’re so sweet but I felt sad.
The whole school goes for their annual school trip to the pantomime this December. This year it’s Peter Pan. You love Peter Pan! Riley went last year and had such a great time. The whole school closes and every single member of staff goes. It’s a fantastic treat to end the Christmas term. But Sonny I had to make the decision for you not to go. I had to decide that you couldn’t cope with a coach trip, with a whole school squealing with excitement, the coach journey to and from. I felt like I had failed you. I felt like I was the one setting your limits, deciding what you can and can’t cope with. I felt like I was making you miss out. Like it was somehow my fault?
Daddy had the day off work, so he looked after Zachary at home while I came to collect you and your brother. I didn’t have the buggy which was my mistake. I ended up giving you a piggy back all the way home. My back hurt and I had only just popped into work and had my adjustment. I knew your feet probably hurt you more so I carried you. There wasn’t really any other option if we were to get home. You were grateful, you gave me a squeeze and kissed my ear and I admit I felt a little better. I’m glad your diddy and light, not too sure I will manage for much longer.
That evening you slept for the first night in your brand new bed. I brought bunk beds as you kept hiding underneath your single bed. It was cosy and dark under there I guess. Joe would get up for work early and look into your bedroom to see your empty bed. He would peer into our bedroom and not find you there, he would look under your bed and a little voice would say ‘you found me!’ That was what you needed and you were over the moon with it. Your ‘cave’ as you call it. After your bath and a bedtime story, I hung a blanket around the side, tucked you in tight and kissed you goodnight. You were asleep as soon as your head hit the pillow. It must have been warm and snuggly for you.
I went downstairs after settling your brother into bed and got out the pantomime letters to fill in. I filled in Riley’s letter and circled ‘I do give permission…’ I flicked over to your letter and circled ‘I do not give permission…’ The way it was worded made my heart sink a little. It wasn’t that way at all.
Allowing you to go would have been selfish of me. It would be selfish of me to want you to experience the things other children find fun. It wouldn’t have been fun for you because all your triggers would be going off left, right and centre. I’m your parent, I love to provide you with the experiences I had growing up, that I loved as a child, that Riley loves now. It’s not for you and that’s okay. Deep down I know that. Fireworks night, those large crowds and all the noise. The hustle and bustle of seeing Father Christmas, it’s hot, stuffy, there’s too many people and we have to wait for a while to see him. All occasions I cherish at this time of year and it’s because I cherish them that I want you to cherish them. You are unique Sonny and I love you for all you are. Those occasions, though dear to me, distress you, and that’s not what I want.
While the whole school are enjoying a wonderful trip to the pantomime, we will do something just you and me. Perhaps we will go swimming? Or maybe a train ride to somewhere fun. Bowling? Golf? Cinema? 360? I look forward to hearing from Riley about all the excitement his day brought for him and his friends…
But Sonny I look forward to our time together all the same.
Follow our adventure and see what we got up to in our post ‘Luton Airport Fire Station.’