The schoo holidays are OVER. Yippee! I’ve loved spending time with my boys. Truly. But I’ve had enough. As have our chickens (but that’s another story).
I asked S tonight what he had enjoyed most about the school holidays. I thought it might have been time spent at the beach, the movies, mazes, new playgrounds, playdates, staying at other people’s houses etc, but he knew straight away what his highlight was and it was right here, at home.
“I loved M playing with me all the time”.
Did my heart sing or what?
I too have loved watching them play together. And I mean really ‘play’. They’ve travelled to faraway lands; put on puppet shows; ran a library, a shoe store, a cafe, a cinema, a hospital; had discos and art shows; made train tracks and done puzzles and played side by side with their iPad/iTouch or watched movies together when they’ve just been too exhausted to do anything else. All in the comfort of our own home. M has barely wanted to leave. And S, whose first question of the day is usually ‘where are we going today?’ was equally as happy to just stay home. To play with his brothers.
Watching this unfold has been nothing short of amazing for me. Especially considering that next week I’ll be back at RCH collecting the report that is going to confirm that M is indeed on the autism spectrum.
So imagine. Imagine how much I am loving watch him use his imagination and play TOGETHER with his brother.
Sure, he’s still got a way to go – he’s bossy as all hell and it’s his way or the highway with pretty much everything they play. And poor little A copped far more of his fair share of pushes as M’s mantra to him over the holidays became ‘go away. it’s only for 2 people’ .
BUT his language is exploding and his listening skills are improving too. Finally he seems to be ‘getting’ a lot more. It’s just awesome.
Awesome also of course to see S have such a great time and have someone to play with and to share his brilliant imagination with. I just know that he’s going to be heading off to school even more confident and brimming with enthusiasm for forming friendships after having so many great play days together at home.
Before these holidays, honestly, any more than a few hours together and these boys were tearing each others’ hair out (well, to be really honest, M was tearing out the hair, S was just trying to get away). So wow. This has been the best holidays for me ever.
But also the most exhausting! All this playing has naturally resulted in lots of mess and quite a bit of mayhem. Half a sack of rice wascarried out to the back yard and turned into an instant ‘sand pit’ the other day and we may just have a chicken walking around with a wing painted blue. The walls and the floor might never be the same again and I’ve lost count of the number of broken cups and toys, not to mention bumped heads and bruises.
This morning S was drawing something on a piece of paper, adding stickers and stamps to it and asked me to write M’s name on the top.
It’s a present, he told me, for M, to thank him for playing with me. It’s a map. A map of all the fun places we’ve pretended to go during the holidays.
I love my boys. I am amazed at their imaginations, their resilience and of course their love for each other, for me and for the world around them.
It seemed very fitting that we ended the school holidays reading a book featuring one of our favourite illustrators, Rob Gonsalves. The book we read tonight was called ‘Imagine a Night’. He has others including ‘Imagine a day’, Imagine a Place’. Amazing, beautiful, inspiring pictures that sum up just how I feel about this year. Anything is possible. Just use your imagination.
It’s going to be a great year.