So - sorry it's been a while; too much on my plate (although not all onerous)...
Spent last weeeknd at a spiritual health weeekend run by NGM (New Generation Music) which was refreshing and uplifting in every sense: spiritually, physically and emotionally.
Ethan held the fort at home - and did a marvellous job. I arrived home to 'welcome home' posters hanging on the door, marzipan stars made by Ethan and Ava, Postman Pat buns made by Ethan and the boys, and the kids buzzing about what a great weekend they'd had. It was a wonderful conclusion to a marvellous weekend, and proved to met that, left to his own devices, Ethan can cope with three rowdy kids on his own. I think that sometimes (often?!) my presence complicates things - I fuss and bicker and nag and interfere. With me out of the picture, Ethan rises to the occasion. He might not do things quite the way I would do them, the kids may well watch too much TV and Oliver may stumble through the day dressed in his big brother's trousers - but they'll all be OK and, through muddling through together, they and Ethan will bond.
It also did me sooooo much good to be away with friends - to be with other neuro-typicals who understand humour and respond to banter and enjoy chatting about nothing and everything. And, perhaps most of all, to be surrounded by cheeriness and fun and positivity.
Ethan is a wonderful, unique person full of strength and loyalty and commitment and knowledge - but cheerful he ain't! And constantly trying to compensate for Ethan's cynicism and negativity is hard work - it takes the joy out of being joyful when it's reciprocated with gloom. And, with no place to take root and bloom, the joy starts to wilt and die.
This weekend showed me that the joy and fun had definitely wilted in me. It took a weekend of recharging with other people that I could connect and laugh and cry with for my joy to be restored.
Rather than try and force these qualities from Ethan and us both getting frustrated, I need to accept that I need to draw on different people for different needs. I'll never give up on trying to make Ethan more cheery - but I need to make sure I spend time with people who are naturally that way inclined in order to top my own cheeriness up.
Maybe it's time to start planning my next weekend away?!
PS I have though just discovered that the entire tub of Ben and Jerry's ice-cream that I bought before I went away has been eaten by Ethan over the course of the weekend. Not at single drop left in the bottom of the tub for me. Guess that's asking too much?!