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It’s been a funny week.

By Thursday I had stopped listening for footsteps or expecting to be greeted by 2son when I opened the front door. I had a couple of days of silence at home, with no music playing and just enjoying the peace. I am, ever so slightly relaxing into not having 2son here.

I took 1son to see him on Thursday and that was a good visit. We stayed for an hour. 2son was enthusiastic about the education he had had over the week. He was designing biscuits, a tin and packaging with another person, and baking and eating the biscuits. His teacher rang me up on Friday to say how bright he was and how little behind he was considering how much schooling he missed. I said that I wasn’t really worried about his education as he was perfectly capable of catching up when he chose. We talked about where he’d go once he left this unit (!) and I explained that he had a place at CATE still so hopefully that wouldn’t be a problem.

2son did not really talk about his afternoons, where they have all sorts of different therapies as well as gym and activities. He went to the cinema on Wednesday on their weekly outing and to their onsite gym which necessitated going through the main hospital. For a couple of the therapy groups he said he just sat in a corner and didn’t participate. He talked about the end of the day when they’re all supposed to say how their day was and he just stuck to “fine”, “OK” or other such words that they’re not supposed to use as being empty. He explained how the other patients all have their own escape routes from the hospital, even though they don’t particularly want to escape. He said in one of the groups that the girls did talk about their feelings but the boys just didn’t bother.

So having 1son there meant I heard more than I might otherwise have down which was good. 1son was naturally relieved to see where his brother was and he will hopefully visit on his own. 2son is taking part in all the activities, even though he might only be a passive observer to some but that is still huge progress.

3son and 4son have also had a good week, not fighting as much as usual. The difference with them has been quite noticeable.

For me, I think I didn’t realise quite how big the adjustment would be. I’m getting there but this is the first time I’ve ever handed over responsibility for one of my children for more than a couple of hours. I don’t have to think about him and that is weird. I do of course and I’m already worrying about what happens when he is released and will they release him too early, although I’m trying to not worry about that as it’s not going to happen any time soon.

I have the house to myself all day long, five days a week. That’s the first time in a couple of years and I am beginning to relax more but it’s going to take a few weeks. I’m ringing home more often to keep a closer eye on 3son and 4son when I do go out and would like to think about them some more. It feels as if whatever gap 2son’s absence has produced that I will just fill it up with his younger brothers and I need to make sure I fill it up with me as well.