Month: March 2014

What a difference a week makes …

Things in GG HQ have certainly changed over the past few days … and all for the good (we hope!).

First of all, Mr GG arrived home safely from America on Wednesday.  The Junior GGs were so excited on Tuesday night they struggled to get to sleep and were all awake doing a happy dance at silly o’clock on Wednesday morning!  Who could blame them!  

There was much excitement for me when I was waiting for Mr GG at the airport and Dara O’Briain wandered past!  Oooh 🙂  It’s not often I see a celebratory that I actually recognise 🙂

Anyway, back to Mr GG, he’s the important one … although he arrived home safely his luggage decided to spend a wee bit longer exploring the sights of Chicago!  This was a BIG drama for the Junior GGs who were excited about presents 😉  The luggage arrived eventually the next day and all is well!!!

Now, the second change to GG HQ … 

… introducing …

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Alfie (posh name Yellow Ghost Angel).

He’s a yellow Labrador Retriever, 10 weeks old and absolutely lovely … he arrived last night and has been as good as gold so far.  Mr GG and I were prepared for a sleepless night but he behaved brilliantly.  He’s had his first injections and is due his second ones next week so we’re hoping that after that he’ll be able to go out and about.  

Slinky Malinky is a little unsure about the new addition but I’m sure, in time, they’ll get used to each other.

Mr GG and I have talked lots about adding a dog to our family.  A dog has been recommended more than once for our sons who are on the Spectrum and, in particular, a lab was suggested.  I’ve never had a dog before and was a little nervous but we took the plunge and, so far all is going well!!  

So, it appears that GG HQ is becoming something of a menagerie … apart from three delicious boys we now have a dog, a cat, two guinea pigs and oodles of fish, snails and shrimp.  My dream has always been that my children grow up used to looking after animals … it seems that dream is coming true 😉

One week (and counting) without Mr GG

It’s one week today since Mr GG went away to America with his work.  We miss him SO much!

I made a countdown visual for the Junior GGs so they had something to help them see how much time it is until their Dad gets home.  It’s hard to explain the concept of length of time to children.  They understand when we say “12 days” but in reality that feels like a lifetime to them.

Our countdown is very basic but it’s working!  Each box has been filled with a wee treat … a packet of Haribo sweets, mini eggs or something similar.  The system is that each boy takes a turn opening a box in the morning … the date is then removed from the box and it’s put in the “used” pile (routine is so important in our house!).  There was great excitement yesterday when the boys realised that we were now more than halfway through Dad’s trip.

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A couple of nights ago, at bedtime, Son No3 was upset and crying because he missed Dad … Son No2 “comforted” him by saying “You’ve got to understand, Dad doesn’t live with us anymore”.  That statement broke my heart to hear but helped me to understand how it felt for them.  We took a wee trip back downstairs to have a look at the countdown and counted how many days Dad had been away and how many until he came home.  Technically, Son No2 was right … Dad isn’t living with us right now but he will be home soon and then we’ll all be together again.

I’ve been interested in the reactions the boys have had talking to their Dad.  I assumed they would be keen to talk to him and telling him how much they missed him but I was surprised at how dismissive they were sometimes.  There would be great deliberation some evenings over whether it was worth leaving the game they were playing to talk to him and one evening the conversations took this form:

Son No1: “Oh hi Dad, have you bought us anything?”

Son No2: “Argh, Dad, argh Dad … any presents yet?”

Son No3: “My foot hurts, here’s Mum.” (to be fair he’d just had a verucca treated and felt a little sorry for himself!

It really did make me chuckle … children are children.  Yes, my boys miss their Dad terribly but the thought of presents when he comes home definitely goes some way to making up for that!

In the meantime, Mr GG has left a huge hole in our home … I’m counting down the days, just as much as the boys, until his return.

Mr GG we all love you and miss you xx

A little bit more …

I think it’s time to post a little more of my coursework … this was the my first assignment, a passage of fiction.  I spent a lot of time working on this and it was, pretty much, my first foray into fiction.  There’s lots of work to be done but I think maybe, in time, I’ll come back to this and take it further 🙂

So, here goes … enjoy!!!

‘Voices’

‘I really need to do something about those bags under my eyes.  I look terrible’ thought Lisa as she stared in the mirror.  Running the tap she splashed her face with cold water, took a deep breath and prepared for the day ahead.

‘Right kids, time to get up.  I’m making breakfast.’ she called. A chorus of groans fading as she went downstairs, the only clue that her voice had been heard.

The smell of burned toast lingered in the air.  The twins grumbled, not happy that they were getting up so early.  Calum hurled his full bowl of cereal across the room. Looking at the mess, Lisa sighed and turned away, it would have to wait until later.  Biting her tongue she got the lunches made, school bags prepared and laid out the twins’ uniforms.

***

Three miles away Amelia lay patiently in her bed waiting, waiting.  If a carer didn’t come into the room soon she knew she would wet herself … again.  Footsteps sounded along the corridor, gradually getting louder and closer.  Holding her breath Amelia listened, knowing that she couldn’t wait much longer. 

Too late.  A humiliating warmth spread around Amelia soon cooling into utter discomfort and the acrid smell of urine.  ‘Where ARE you?’  she cried in a series of guttural groans.

‘Morning love, how are you today?’ called Kirsty opening the door.  ‘Oh dear, Amelia, another accident.  Let’s get you sorted out my love.  You ought to tell us when you need the toilet.  It can’t be nice lying in wet sheets.  It’s best to keep your buzzer closer to hand, love.’

Amelia’s eyes flashed.  ‘Really?  Really?  How do you expect me to do that?  I can’t move.  I can’t even hold a cup.  How do you expect me to get a buzzer that YOU left on the other side of the room?’

Unable to interpret the sounds, Kirsty carried on working, hoisting Amelia out of bed to get her washed and dressed before dealing with the soiled bedding. 

Amelia’s glare never faltered, speaking volumes but never acknowledged.

*** 

No-one was willing today.  Lisa’s calm exterior was nearly crumbling by the time she got all three children dressed and ready to go.  Calum seemed to sense the tension, aware something wasn’t quite the same as before. 

‘Robert, why did you go?  Why couldn’t you be here when I need you?  Why have I been left to cope alone?’

*** 

‘There we go, love.  Porridge for breakfast.  Open wide.’

‘P-p-please don’t patronise me …’ Try as she might, the words wouldn’t form and tears of frustration formed in her eyes.  ‘Why can’t I communicate anymore?  I don’t want porridge.  I don’t like porridge.  I want to choose my own breakfast.’

*** 

After a last minute fuss looking for the keys, they left.  House locked up, seatbelts fastened, engine on. 

‘But why?’ moaned Chloe, the younger of the twins.  Chloe always took the lead as if she were making up for the fifteen minutes of life that she’d lost out on to Miya.  ‘Why do we have to go to a childminder after school?  We don’t know her …’

‘… And we certainly don’t like her’ chimed in Miya.

Grimly gripping the steering wheel Lisa silently counted to ten before answering.  ‘It’s just like I told you yesterday, girls.  Now that Daddy is in heaven I’ve had to get a job.  This is my first day and I need you to be brave for me.  Angie is really nice and you did like her when you met her.’ 

Lost in thought about the day ahead, she drove the baby to Angie’s house and the girls to the school breakfast club.

*** 

Putting her hand on the handle Maddy MacLeod paused, ‘Amelia Patrick is one of our more difficult patients.  She suffered a stroke three years ago and has been here ever since.  She has no communication and tends to be as awkward as she can be.  I’m sure that you will learn to manage her’

Lisa bristled at the manager’s tone and walked behind her into the room.  Locking eyes with Amelia she saw a depth of sadness, resentment and ire.  Gently she walked over, took Amelia’s hand ‘I’m Lisa, I’m pleased to meet you.  Do you mind if I sit down?  Maybe we can get to know each other.’ 

Once again, tears filled Amelia’s eyes.  She could see Lisa’s compassion and sensed that Lisa saw her as more than a ‘patient’.  She felt hope that once more her voice would be heard and her story told.

Are you a worrier like me?

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A friend recently posted this picture on her Facebook page and it made me stop in my tracks.

Worry!

We’re all guilty of it.  Aren’t we?  

I’m no geneticist but I do believe that we can be predisposed to be worriers.  I’m a terrible worrier, I get anxious about the slightest thing and have a very real phobia of any of the Junior GGs catching tummy bugs.  The worst thing is, I’m more worried about me catching the bug from my sons than I am about them having it although, to be fair, like most Mums I find that my world is all wrong when my children are ill (that goes for any time Mr GG is ill too).

Anyway, back to genetics – my Dear Old Dad is a worrier and, in addition to myself,  I can see that tendency in at least two of the Junior GGs.  Just on Monday Mr GG lost his security pass for work.  Son No1 spent the whole day anxious and worried that his Dad would get sacked because of it.  I reassured him, Mr GG reassured him but, despite hiding his worry well, it all came tumbling out in the evening when we talked together.  Likewise, Son No2 worries about all sorts of things especially about school homework!  Maybe it’s nonsense but I truly do believe we have inherited that worry gene from my father.  I won’t hold it against him though, he’s an amazing man and I love him dearly.

In the Bible we are encouraged not to worry, not to be terrified, not to be anxious etc.   Look at Matthew 6:25-34 or Deuteronomy 7:21 or Philippians 4:6 .  It’s pretty clear!

I am all of these things!  I’m a worrier, I’m terrified of all sorts of things the world throws at me and I’m anxious about lots of things!

So, does this mean that I am de-throning God?  Well, I guess, it really does mean just that.  It’s a horrible thought.  As a child of God I want Him to be King of my life.  I don’t like to think that I’m failing in that.  Naturally, I want to think that I’m doing a good job at living the way God wants me to.  The fact is I’m not … but I will keep on trying.  God loves me whatever, He won’t give up on me and He won’t every stop loving me despite my worrying!  For that I am thankful 🙂

 

Highs and lows of nature

Here in GG HQ we have several pets … our cat (Slinky Malinky) two guinea pigs belonging to Son No2 (Fluffy & Pringle) and two aquariums filled with oodles of fish, shrimp and snails.

Each of the boys has their own responsibilities when it comes to the pets; Son No1 feeds the cat, Son No2 the guinea pigs and Son No3 the fish.  They don’t take much to do with the cleaning out of the hutch and aquarium but that’ll come in time.

So, this evening Mr GG and I were cleaning out the larger aquarium to put in some new plants.  That done, as the water settled we realised that one of the fish was giving birth to fry.  We watched in wonder as she peeped out from her hideyhole each time a new fish was delivered.  Wow!  So amazing!  We’re used to seeing baby fish in the aquarium but these fry were something else, so tiny!

Our excitement didn’t last long … as we watched yet another fish swooped in and feasted on the newborns!

Nature is a funny old thing!  So beautiful, so amazing and so cruel!

The Aftermath …

… it’s been a funny couple of days.  The last thing I expected was that a poem written by me would be read so much and get so much feedback (mostly on Facebook but also through phonecalls etc, exciting!).  The poem came from my heart and, in some ways, was personal but my hope was that, by sharing it, more people would begin to understand that autism is not a case of “what you see is what you get”!  

Every one is unique, an individual with their own personality, their own idiosyncrasies (we all have them!) and their own temperament.  Genetics and upbringing can shape us but, the fact is we’re all unique (and yet created in God’s image … wow!).  A person on the autistic spectrum is no less different and unique.  Mr GG and I have been blessed with three amazing sons, two of whom have been diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders (I don’t like the term “disorder” but, maybe I’ll save that for another day!).  It’s a privilege living with autism, I really, truly believe that … my boys teach me so much and I am continually learning from them and about them, all three of them.  

I wouldn’t change anything … but … do you know what I find hardest about autism?  It’s the fact that, because my sons don’t look different, people assume they are misbehaving or rude when they react in an unexpected way (sometimes they are misbehaving … but not always!).  

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And, just a two extra wee smiles from me:

1) yesterday saw the first comments on my blog and 

2) my blog was viewed in the UK, the USA, New Zealand, Australia, Cambodia and the Netherlands … how exciting 🙂

It’s been a while ….

Well, it’s nearly ten months since I last posted.  There is a reason for that.

In June 2013 the husband of a very good friend of mine passed away.  My friend and her husband have been a huge support to me over the years and I truly value their friendship and interest in my adventures.

This gentleman was a journalist and, at times, had tried to encourage me into journalism but I resisted believing that this was not the right path for my life.  Therefore, as a tribute I decided to fulfil a secretly held desire to write creatively and last October I began a Creative Writing course with the Open Univserity.

The course hasn’t been easy and, at times, it’s been totally discouraging but I am now halfway through and considering signing up for Advanced Creative Writing in October (eek!).  I’m hesitant to make my writing public but my latest piece of coursework touched a nerve and I want to share it with you.  Whether you like this or not is entirely up to you … but I wrote this from my heart about one of my precious boys.  So, here goes …

Perception

To the casual observer he’s nothing special

Maybe a loner

Maybe quite naughty

But to those who know him

He’s amazing

He’s fun

Infectious giggles

Bear hugs and smackers

To the casual observer he may be aloof

Maybe unfriendly

Maybe just odd

But to those who know him

He’s clever

He’s smart

A bather in mud

Master of mayhem

To the casual observer he’ll maybe just scowl

Maybe just glare

Or maybe he’ll smile

But to me, as his mother,

I love him

He’s mine

He loves me completely

My gift from God

Would I change him?  I’m asked

No, not for the world

For he makes my heart sing

A song full of love

Naom Mizon 2014 ©