Thursday, 4 July 2013

Jessica needs holidays too....

We have recently returned from an amazing two week holiday in Greece. This was a much needed break for myself and my husband, and we had been very much looking forward to it.  The last year has been difficult and stressful, as I wrote about in my previous post here. I needed a break from rushing around, and all the “organisation” that goes with having a disabled child with complex needs.

We were staying in a villa, in a small resort with a communal pool, an amazing beach, and a kids club. Now, I never thought I would want a holiday with a kids club - to me holidays are for family time.  However, Jessica cannot entertain herself, and needs an adults help to do, well, absolutely everything.  We can’t do what we see other parents doing – sitting by the pool reading their books, while looking up occasionally to say “don’t run” or “share your toys” etc. Any down time for us is on our own, and at the expense of the other parent caring for, or entertaining, Jessica by themselves. Given that we also have a lively one year old whose needs are completely different to Jessica’s, this means that both myself and my husband often end up taking a child each, with neither of us getting any time to relax.  To allow myself and my husband some much needed time together, we felt that we needed to seriously consider the kids club. The staff had British qualifications, with one member of staff being trained in looking after children with disabilities and special needs, were happy to have Jessica, and both girls settled in very quickly and happily.
It took myself and my husband a few days to wind down, and gradually relax into the flow. However, what caught me unawares was that the same went for Jessica. After a couple of days, you could see Jessica visibly relax, and start to chill out. I don’t know why this surprised me – I find our life stressful, and I don’t have half of the challenges that Jessica faces every day.  It was lovely to see her so relaxed, and having such a great time. Jessica and her sister were in the pool every day, which they both loved, and they both really enjoyed the kids club. We also went to a water park, and spent the day taking both girls down the slides on our laps – they started giggling at the top, laughing out loud all the way down and then laughing again when they came back to the surface after being submerged at the bottom!
The holiday was a complete success –  I got to spend some proper time with my husband, and we had a great time all together as a family. We have some amazing memories and have come home rejuvenated, and ready to face the challenges ahead. And I think that applies to Jessica too!


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