I love the way James looks at the world in a totally different way from the rest of us. When he was putting on underpants one morning, I could tell he was ruminating on something as he had that faraway look in his eyes. I asked him what he was thinking about and his reply was, “Undies … they’re like a little cage for my teticles (translate – testicles)!” Another day – James: Mummy, could I please have a treat? Me: Well … I tell you what … if you finish all your jobs, there’s a Caramello Koala in the pantry with your name on it! (James dutifully completes his jobs and then meets me at the pantry where he is handed a Koala as promised!) James: Mumma!!!! You are a ZERO! (At this stage he had a sliding scale for pleasure to displeasure rated from 0-20, 0 clearly not being favourable!) This Koala does NOT have my name on it! You are bad news! (probably a quote from a movie!) James and I were recently home together as he had not been well. Whilst tucking him into bed that evening I said, “Goodnight darling. We had a lovely day together, didn’t we?” He said, “Yes, we did. I couldn’t have done it without you, Mum. You saved my life!” It was somewhat reminiscent of a Clone Wars episode finale but I loved it nonetheless. There are so many funny and lovely little stories, each of them treasured.
I am so overwhelmingly grateful for my family. I probably didn’t appreciate how fortunate I was with my family until I started teaching. I realised that many things I accepted as ‘normal’ were in fact not commonplace in most families at all. My parents and my siblings have been a fantastic support to me since having the kids, and honestly, I don’t know what I would do without them. Since having James, I have had many overwhelming moments of gratitude for everything my parents have done for me in my life. As I sat up all night with sick babies, I would often wonder just how many times mum and dad had done this same thing with me and my siblings. And I wondered if they strained their ears in the night to make sure I was still breathing in the crib next to their bed, just as I did many times with James. Now that I’m a mother, I can appreciate that your children are always your babies no matter what their age, and I’m sure my parents have had a hard time watching certain parts of my journey with James over the past few years. Through it all, they’ve just simply loved us and given support where it was needed. My three boys and I are really blessed to have them.
Chris’ folks have also been really supportive of us and all the decisions we’ve made and continue to make to support James and our family unit. They are a great support to us, as are Chris’ siblings and their families. We appreciate all the offers of help, the babysitting and the regular dinners over at their place, but what we appreciate the most is that they love James so much and accept him as he is. They rejoice in his achievements big and small, and they empathise when we’re having a tough week. This makes all the difference.
James is so fortunate to be surrounded by family who completely and unconditionally love him. We all are! Chris and I have been lucky to have such wonderful examples in our parents. I only hope that we can do this parenting gig even half as successfully as they have! Our families are an absolute blessing to us as a family and we love you all to pieces! Mwah xxx