Monday, 1 November 2010

Peace and Quiet

Last Tuesday was absolute bliss.

Last week we went up North again so Jr could see his mother as she hasn't been down once since we moved last year. Drove up Monday and after a couple of hours round at hers to make sure he was settled I went to stay with a dear friend for a few days.

She had to go to work on Tuesday and originally I thought her elder daughter was going to be in but she went out for the day as well. 10 am and the house was empty. Silent. I had a day and absolutely nothing to do or to worry about.

Then my friend called – she'd left something at home she needed and could I get it sent over in a taxi. Well as it wasn't far I jumped in the car, dropped it off and headed back. 10:45 and I was back in the empty house having a cuppa. I just sat there for a while enjoying the absolute silence and then made some lunch. After lunch I took a stroll to the local shop, bought a paper, and spent the afternoon slouched on the sofa reading it from cover to cover. I genuinely can't remember the last time I was able to do that and such a simple pleasure gave me so much joy. I even did the soduko, and I'm not really into puzzles.

Around 4:30 the door went and my friend was back, with her younger child who she'd picked up from nursery. Elder daughter turned up half an hour later and we had a lovely evening but nothing could take away from the joy of solitude I'd felt earlier.

It probably seems silly to most people, taking so much joy from something so little, but it's such a rare occurrence for a carer that it really is something to savour. Respite care works for some but with Jr's trust issues it's a non-starter but I didn't even worry about Jr as I know that as his mother finds it difficult to deal with him when he has problems she would call me at the first sign of any problems (of which there weren't at all).

My friend noticed how relaxed I was and commented on it in the evening. She even offered to take the kids out the next day to give me another day's peace and quiet but I didn't want to get too used to it; anyway they're an adorable family and spending time with them is always a pleasure.



  1. Hi Gunnercesc.

    It was a bit special. Simple pleasures and all that.


  2. one question........what paper did you buy?

  3. Hi, just sat and read the whole blog and wanted to leave a message as it's so beautifully written.

    Not quite the same situation at all but I am a single mum to two boys, the eldest is 11 and has real difficulty with anxiety and coping socially. He just about copes, he vomits a lot at school when he gets himself in a state and is considered a bit odd by the other kids. Experts tell me he is borderline high functioning autistic.

    The worry is constant, the fear for his future or how he is coping today at school fill my mind far too much, parenting this alone makes it even more lonely and scary. But he is the most wonderful, intelligent, interesting, funny little chap and the world is a more wonderfully richer place for him being here.

    I've had the pleasure of trying to work my way through the benefits system and it beat me. It wasn't for my son but me, I have had a complicated illness for a couple of years that has made it increasingly hard to work - including cataracts in both eyes that are splitting images and giving me strange double vision. I am self employed and tried to claim incapacity benefit a few months back when it was getting too hard to work - it was a humiliating and fruitless banging my head against walls experience. I won't bore you with the details but I just gave up in the end, I am now struggling to work each day as I have no choice at the moment, I sit on waiting lists for a few operations that should sort it all out in the end.

    Does life sound difficult? I am very happy, love my kids, got used to the wonky eyes and I'm happier than most people I know, i'm a tough old cookie and it takes a lot to get me down! So no it's not difficult but I understand how it feels to be worried about a child who doesn't seem to fit into the world, I understand how it feels to be dealing 'experts' and the system.

    Thank you for writing this blog and enjoy your days of 'peace and quiet' when they come along x

  4. Hi Claire.

    Very kind words, thank you.

    I think a lot of the themes I talk about are universal really, and I'm just trying to get over to people what carers do, especially right now.