Whenever I try to talk to people about things that we find tricky, the standard response seems to be, ‘oh, you’ll get there.’
It seems to be the response when people find themselves so far away from their own experiences that they offer this as a sort of encouragement. Sometimes it is said by people who genuinely know how things are and they are wanting to reassure us that it will get better. And sometimes it is said because the fact that we’re not ‘there’ yet is really quite annoying and could we hurry up and get there because it is impacting on their plans.
The thing is, I’m not sure where ‘there’ is. Is it that we will be able to do what most families are able to do? Is it that we’ll be able to do a bit more than we can do now? Is it that one day I won’t moan so much when things are hard because they’re not that hard and we’ll be fine?
And if we don’t get ‘there’, have we failed? Have we failed as a family? Have we failed Big? Have we failed Little? If we’re never able to do the things that people want us to do, what then? Will they keep insisting that ‘we’ll get there?’ Oh will they be willing to accept what our ‘there’ is and accommodate us accordingly?
Because our ‘there’ might look very different to how people expect it to. Our ‘there’ might be going away for the day and nobody being hurt on the way home. It might be being able to spend the day at home without anything organised. It might be trying new food. It might be expressing our feelings through words rather than actions. It might be being able to empathise with someone else.
Our ‘there’ is just that, it’s ours. It’s not to be compared with anybody else’s. We’re not to feel that we have to constantly strive to do the things that people think we should be doing. We have to continue to hope. And we have to continue to add to our tools to help our children manage more but we have look at where we are. And, if and when we get ‘there’, it’ll be our ‘there’, not theirs.
The best bits
We went to the woods for a walk today. There is a fallen tree that the girls like to walk along. Today, Big climbed onto it like she would the beam at gymnastics, and, totally unaided walked along. This is the first time she’s done this. ‘I need to tell gymnastics!’ she said as she jumped off.
When we went swimming on Friday, Little jumped into the pool and tried to sit on the bottom. When she came up, she announced, ‘I KNEW I could do this!’
Yesterday I went to see my niece. We had a lovely day at the local show. We watched sheep dancing, ferrets racing and horses jumping. And my brother’s dog won ‘waggiest tail’. Fab day.