Saturday, 5 July 2014

A holiday by the seaside

An advantage of not being at school is that we can travel anytime. This week we are staying with my mum, who lives by the seaside. We arrived yesterday, in glorious sunshine, and went straight down to the beach.

Since we arrived, Charlie has been enjoying the following:

Cuddles with Granny

Strolling in the rain

Puzzling over the crossword with Granny

Building sandcastles with Mum

Watching the tide come in and fill the moat round the sandcastles

There is another kind of education that Charlie is experiencing as he grows up: learning to understand his brother's differences. I used to protect Charlie as much as possible from our concerns about Tom but, since Tom's recent diagnosis of Aspergers/HFA, I have been more open with him about why Tom has difficulties. This trip has been a trigger for Tom, as he finds change incredibly difficult to deal with. So, although the photos above may make the holiday look idyllic, they don't tell the whole story. Behind the scenes, we have been dealing with an older sibling who is overwhelmed with anxiety and anger at our change of location.

After a particularly difficult scene with Tom, Charlie came up and put his arms round me. "It'll be ok, Mum, " he said. When I began to explain that Tom was panicking because change was so upsetting to him, Charlie said simply, "I know. He's my brother."

Big brother, little brother: 2007

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