Tralee Life Life In An Irish Town


A Five Day Recovery

Yesterday we had Jaden over, again. The two boys, under a blanket, watched Jaws; they had been watching Mr Bean but he must have being getting a bit pedestrian for them. Fred went gone upstairs to get his shark book, just in case Jaden didn’t have enough sharks in his Saturday.

This has been a bit of a tough week for Fred. The bug that hit last Saturday and the subsequent seizure cluster really took it out of him. As it happens, eight kids in his class had the same bug, surprisingly not Jaden, as I was sure he was coming down with it at the weekend. Breakfast on Tuesday was Fred’s first meal since Saturday lunchtime, a long time for our boy to go without food. Maybe he had a bit of chicken on Monday afternoon but it wasn’t much. On Tuesday evening Lisa made his favourite for dinner but that went untouched too. All week he hasn’t had an appetite come dinner time; he’d have his usual breakfast and lunch but no evening meal. Each evening I’ve asked him to come in for dinner but I’m met with a “no thanks.” Later on he’d pick at some toast with chicken...On Thursday he came as far as the kitchen table before saying, “no thank you,” and going back to the front room.

At school the teachers remarked on how out of it Fred was Tuesday and Wednesday. This was obvious to us too. It was difficult to rouse him in the mornings and all day we’d have to almost shake Fred awake to get a response from him. Looking back at it now it must have been a trifecta of the bug, the cluster and having his medicines trying to regain control of his brain. If, as I suspect, the bug caused his levels to drop, then the early days of the week were all about the meds getting back to work. This has happened before, notably after his appendicitis last winter where he went toxic only to be followed by a bad cluster. If you mess around with these meds, you can cause all sorts of problems. That’s why we try to be as regimented about dose times as possible.

Of course Fred’s sleeping pattern was thrown out as well this week. A couple of nights Fred still wasn’t asleep by 11pm which isn’t good. On Thursday he fell asleep on his mother’s shoulder not long after 8pm, just leant in and dropped off. The comfort for a little boy of the scent of his mother must be something else. The flip side was that he woke as I left at 5.30am Friday morning, chatting away as if it was midday. Apparently he fell back to sleep a bit later but with me away he had to go on the Ruby school run with his Mum. Though he did have another nap on the way back from Dingle.

By Thursday he seemed back to normal, something which Denise and Olivia both remarked upon to Lisa. The two “ladies who care for me”, as he described them to Jaden today, noticed how off form Fred was earlier in the week and they were glad to have their boy back to normal on Thursday. Funny Fred can’t really work his charms on Olivia like he could on Elaine last year. If Fred wasn’t feeling too good when with Elaine he’d get the duvet down and the two would cuddle under it while having an easy day of work. With Olivia though it’s all work from the get-go, no slacking and no malingerers tolerated. A bit of a shock for Fred but just what he needs at times. One day he was looking at me as if to say, “Do I have to?” while Olivia was telling him what homework they were going to do. All I could do was smile at his disappointed little face...

“But Ms O’Se,” I heard him say as I closed the kitchen door, “we did that book at school.”

“I know Freddie,” was the answer, “but we’re doing it again now.”

“Oh, all right,” the resigned tone to Fred’s voice telling that he knew resistance was futile.

The welcome home I got each evening I was away this week was just lovely. On Tuesday and Friday I had to make trips to Dublin and apparently Freddie missed his Dad. Friday night as I walked in the door he charged at me with his arms out, nearly knocking me off my feet but enveloping me in the biggest hug ever...

“I missed you,” the little voice said from the squashed face in my tummy, “you were gone forever.”

I remember missing my Dad at the same age, but he’d be gone to New York or San Francisco for a week; all I did was go on a course in Dublin for the day. Somehow I don’t think I’ll ever be able to leave my man for too long. This morning I had a dream where we lost Freddie when on a day out to a seaside town. We looked everywhere, through all the houses, on the beaches, down the terrace lined streets but no Fred anywhere. Somehow I clicked that I was only dreaming and woke to him lying out on his back, not having a care in the world. Later as we drove over to collect the J man Fred told me he had nice dreams last night, about Godzilla monsters...No doubt Freud would tell us that my dream was a reaction to being away from Fred but what would he say to Fred having nice dreams about Godzilla monsters?

After we collected Jaden the three of us drove off to collect Ruby. She’d been on a night at the cinema in Dingle, followed by the girls getting a Chinese takeaway for the sleepover. Jaden had his tablet with him and the two kept themselves amused while I drove. At Ali’s house I sent the two to collect the girls. Ruby came out laughing. They had the curtains drawn while watching TV. The curtains didn’t reach the floor so all Ali and Ruby saw were two pairs of little feet walking along the path to the front door...the cutest thing ever, the girls thought. Hope the boys can keep the girls saying those sort of things in the future...

Coming down off the Conor Pass Fred said to Jaden...

“Welcome to Dingle,”

To which Jaden replied,

“I’ve been here before Freddie.”

But that didn’t stop Fred giving Jaden the whistle stop tour of all the shops and streets. He also gave Jaden a brief history of our time there and finished it by saying,

“We quit Dingle.”

Just like a rock star on the road, he moved on to Tralee when he’d seen all Dingle had to offer. In truth Fred still wonders if we are moving back one day and often asks if Tralee is our home now or are we going back to Dingle. The move at the time was very sudden. From that afternoon in early August 2011 when he left in an ambulance, I’m not sure if Fred spent more than a couple of nights in Dingle again before we moved to Tralee. A whirlwind at the time and it must be difficult for a young brain to take it all in. When I go back now it seems strange that we no longer live in Dingle and I think Fred feels the same.

On the way home Fred showed Jaden his old school and told him the names of the friends he made when there. The beach where we used to swim was pointed out too...

“That’s the road to Amy’s beach,” Fred said, referring to his friend who lived nearby.

All in all it was great for Fred to be the tour guide, showing his friend where he once lived. Sharing his memories with Jaden probably put a bit of context to Fred’s life for his little friend.

Back home the two played, laughed and Jaden even had a nap. It’s lovely that Jaden can feel relaxed enough with us to take a snooze on the couch. Fred made him comfortable and went back to watching Mr Bean. After dinner Fred and I drove Jaden home, our man nibbling away at the sweets Lisa gave him as he went out the door. He got out, gave me a tired thank you and Fred said goodbye.

On our way home Fred and I drove through the streets of Tralee. Lisa makes fun of me for taking any excuse to drive around town but I love it, you never know what you might see.

As we went through the centre Fred said,

“I like driving around town at night Dad...”

It must be genetic.

Now it’s Sunday morning and I’ve just had to break up a row between Fred on one side with his Mum and Ruby on the other. Fred was just getting going as I came down the stairs but Ruby is a tough opponent, far tougher than the mother. There was also a row with his mother about bedtimes last night. Fred also ate a full dinner with Jaden.

Things are definitely getting back to normal in Ballyard.



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Fred Gets the Bug

On Saturday afternoon Fred had Jaden over. The two just take over the front room, toys everywhere, laptops blaring, the TV on and plates of food. About 3 O’clock I had to move them on as there was football to be watched.  The boys weren’t happy but Lisa soon had them sorting Fred’s old toys in the attic and that kept them busy for a while. When bored with that they came down to the front room again and Fred asked if they could do some painting. Jaden seemed a bit surprised, maybe he saw painting as something you only do at school, but he turned out to be a beautiful artist. Painting kept the boys busy until dinner time and Jaden was very particular about taking care of his art, so as to take it home.

As I cooked dinner the boys settled down to Mr Bean. The two were cuddled up under a blanket, Fred as always looking for the comforts and nearly squashing our Jado into the corner of the couch. Soon though he started to feel sick and Lisa had to take over Jaden’s place. For the rest of the evening a bug took hold and our Fred spent a lot of time in the bathroom. At about 8 O’clock I took a well-fed Jaden home leaving Fred asleep in his mother’s arms. Our man was a bit quiet on the journey home and I wonder if the bug was catching him too.

Fred and I went to bed about 10pm. He had perked up a bit, probably the worst of the bug was over but he was a wreck of a man. The worry for Lisa and I was that he had vomited a lot within six hours of having his evening meds.  My understanding is in those six hours is when Fred absorbs the meds into his system. They have a half-life of six hours, giving them that time to be absorbed and to keep his levels constant until his next dose at 6am. If we keep giving his meds at regular intervals he can keep a constant therapeutic level in his system, thus keeping the epilepsy at bay. That’s the theory anyhow.

When Fred and I went to bed I read him a couple of stories but he was fast asleep by the time I’d finished the Smartest Giant in Town. I rolled him over onto his pillow and read for a while. At midnight I turned off the light, kissed him goodnight and hoped for the best. Sure enough not long after 1am a seizure struck. The usual tonic clonic that we had hoped was a few days away in the current cycle. Not to be and day thirteen is the mark this time round. Lisa took over guard, sending me back upstairs. She swiped his battery with the magnet, to give him the shot of extra electricity to the brain.

We’ve been doing so since Wednesday. Suzanne had advised that once five days had passed to begin a routine of daily swipes, to get into good practice and to get his system ready for the next step-up in a couple of weeks. Is it making any difference yet? It’s difficult to say and really only time will tell. Lisa has been doing it three or four times a day and at least there haven’t been any downsides yet. You have to feel his chest for the VNS and then run the strong magnet over it in a criss-cross pattern. The criss-cross is to make sure you find the VNS with the magnet. Whenever I feel for it I think of Fred’s reaction when he first discovered it himself...

“A battery?” he looked shocked, “I don’t want a battery in me!”

Followed by...

“That doctor put a battery in me when I was asleep?”

A lot for anyone to take in really; a live, pulsing battery connected to his brain, all done when he was knocked out.

It’s a wonder he can sleep in peace at all.

The battery in my old car failed me this week making Fred and I late for school. He was actually disappointed to be delayed which is a far better reaction than when we were hunting him out the door before Christmas. As we had to wait for Lisa to come back from dropping Ruby we were too late for Ms O’Se, his resource teacher. She comes around the house in the afternoons so he couldn’t escape her fully. The coming round the house bit he’s still not too fond of, can’t blame him really. What little boy wants school work to follow you home? When we got to school the whole class seemed delighted that Fred had made it. He wasn’t shy going in which is an improvement and  he just walked away from me, taking off his coat as he went. Jaden was beaming at their desk, seemingly delighted the have his friend to keep him company. Fred didn’t even say goodbye but then he had Denise and Rose fussing over him and Jaden to chat with, what did he need his old Dad for?

On Tuesday afternoon we went shopping. Lisa drew up a list and off went around Tralee. In the butchers we got the dinner and Fred got a lollipop....

“How did I just do?” Fred asked when we got back in the car, as he likes a bit of reassurance that he did what he should when we’re in the shops. At times he likes to know that he’s asked the right questions or hasn’t misbehaved. It just shows how removed from live he has been for the last few years.

At the fruit and veg shop he asked for green bananas. The ones on display weren’t green enough so the man, laughing, went off down the store room and came back with four of the greenest bananas I’ve ever seen.

“How’s that?” he asked.

“Thank you,” said Fred, breaking into one.

We finished off our list and headed for Ballyard.  At home Fred had a couple more bananas before dinner, just in case they ripened too quickly in the heat of the kitchen.

On Wednesday Fred was in the front room dressing for school and I was in the kitchen getting his lunch ready. All was quiet, then a load of banging and clattering came from inside. I didn’t want to rush in, I heard Fred moving about so I knew he was ok. So I strolled in about a minute later and asked if all was ok...

“Ah nothing my Dad,” Fred said as innocently as possible, trying to block my view of the sideboard by the window.

Behind him I could see the broken tall candlestick, a dinosaur and one of his planes. He must have been having a battle between the dinosaur and the plane, using the candlestick as a prop, when the ‘accident’ happened...

“Show me...” I said.

“Promise you won’t be angry?” Fred asked, looking up at me and still trying to block the scene of the crime.

“I won’t, just let me see if I can fix it.”

Fred stood away and the break was clean, nothing a bit of super glue wouldn’t fix. Fred saw I was ok with the damage so he moved on to his next worry...

“Promise you won’t tell Mummy,”

“We’ll see.”

The little man gulped, he was off to school so it was all in the lap of the gods as far as he was concerned. As it turns out the break actually wasn’t that clean and Lisa spotted the slightly twisted finished job as soon as she walked into the room. It also wasn’t the first time Fred had broken the candlestick so the shock wasn’t that bad. Lisa tried teasing Fred when he came home about the damage but I think he knew by the tone of her voice that all was forgiven.

Fred knows his Mummy.

It was his Mummy who cared for Fred yesterday, as she always does so well. About 7am Fred had woken looking for me so his parents swopped shifts. At 8.30 he had his sixth seizure of the cluster but we continued to swipe him as we wanted to avoid the Stesolid. The gap between seizures good and manageable. Not long after that seizure I got a call from Brian down in Cork...he had a spare ticket for the Munster match at Thomond Park and did I want to go...Lisa insisted I do so, she had things under control.  What a woman....

When I was having my breakfast Fred came downstairs, a bit shook but he wanted to get up. Far better to be up and about than spending the day in bed. I set off about 10.00am and he was fast asleep in his mother’s arms. He had a couple more during the morning but by 1 O’clock the cluster was over. Lisa had intervened with the Stesolid eventually. The swiping may have had some effect, widening the gap between seizures but it’s all too soon yet.

When I came back from my terrible time at the match, Fred was awake but soon he fell back asleep in my arms. By 10 o’clock the two of us were cuddled up in bed and all was ok with the world.

Now this morning he’s very dopey but up and about. He’ll sleep a bit, eat a bit but it will be tomorrow before all will be as before the bug got him.

Fred will get back to his routine and we’ll get back to normal.

Whatever that is.

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The Birthday Boy

Fred fell asleep very early yesterday evening. Unusual for him, but he has had a busy week and Jaden was over for the day.  At about 8pm he cuddled up to his Mum on the couch and before we knew it he was sending up zeds, conked to the world. The problems began when he came up to bed with me, at just after midnight, as he woke again. If I wake from a deep sleep I find it very difficult to get back there again and Fred is exactly the same... ain’t genetics a curse, as someone once said. By 1.15am I was wide awake as was Fred beside me, the two of us unable to sleep. Fred as he’d woken earlier, I ‘cos he’d woken me with his restless sighs. Fred was sent up to his mother...

At 3.10am Fred was back in the bedroom door. As I’d been unable to sleep I was up reading and actually half thought that we had a burglar when I heard the gentle footsteps approaching my bedroom door. In came the man...

“What’s happening?” I asked.

“Mummy sent me down, she’s an angry woman,” was Fred’s answer.

In he got beside me with strict instructions to go to sleep...

“All right my Dad,” Fred replied.

By 4am I was reading Fred stories in attempt to get him to off to the land of nod. No luck. In a shameless play of bribery I started telling him of the delicious Sunday breakfast I’d make if he’d only go to sleep...

“Rashers, omelette, toast,” I said.

Fred was silent, maybe it had worked, but then

“And beans?”

“Go to sleep or you’ll only be getting a glass of water.”

“Ok my Dad,”

At 5.10am, Fred rolled over onto his side, he was fast asleep. Eventually.

Now I’m wrecked.

Monday was day 17 in the recent stretch. A good break for us all. Just after lunch Fred was talking to Lisa when a seizure hit. No warning, no confusion, though he had been jittery earlier in the day and was off his food a bit. Luckily the two were sitting on the couch so Fred only had to fall into Lisa’s arms. The rest of the day went as so many have gone before but not as severely. Lisa swiped Fred’s battery with the magnet from time to time and in all he only had five big seizures with a few frontal lobes in between. He roused himself occasionally and compared to other seizure days it wasn’t too bad. He had his fifth in bed about midnight and Lisa gave him a shot of Diazepam with a swipe of the magnet thrown in for good measure. The man slept soundly for the night, waking in the morning someway normal but not ready for school.

Whether all this points to the VNS working we don’t know, it’s far too early to say plus we’ve had good days before. The true sign would be regular long seizure free breaks and seizure days just like Monday past. On Friday we were in Temple Street for the latest increase in the output amps and we discussed the changes with Suzanne. She seemed pleased but was more interested in the amount of seizure free days. 17 days was an improvement on the 13 days previously but that was way down on the 23 from the time before again.  The mantra is still that we are in the early stages; Fred’s output is at .75amps and they are looking at getting to 2amps. The increment stages are set at .25amp each month so were are at least 6 months off where Dr Amre wants us to be.

Time will tell.

This week we celebrated Fred’s birthday. His 11th and the first since we came under Dr Amre’s care. The improvements of the last year, the vast improvements, have all happened since just after Fred’s 10th. Actually we had our first trip to Temple Street this day last year, we went up for a week and so much has happened since. For Lisa and me we weren’t just celebrating Fred’s birthday but also the fact that he’s come so far in the last year.

For one he celebrated his birthday at school. There wasn’t any school last January, something Fred would happily go back to if he could. Denise was delighted when I told her and Fred came home with chocolate in his pocket, a present from Ms O’Se. Ruby asked him what did the kids say and Fred told her that the class sang Happy Birthday to him.  So sweet.

Another difference was Fred and I went to the cinema. Another venture that would have been unheard of last time round. Off we went to the 2.10pm showing of Walking with Dinosaurs. Fred got popcorn and we found our seats in the theatre. We were the only two at the movie; it was like a private showing just for Fred’s birthday. We pushed up the armrest between us and Fred stretched out over me, just like at home. For the next couple of hours we laughed and munched our way through the flick. Afterwards we looked at the posters in the lobby, deciding which movie we’ll see next. I’ll have to arrange another private viewing though, it was so comfortable...

Afterwards we went to the toy shop to get his present. Yet another trip that we wouldn’t have done last year. Fred had money in his pocket, a present from Granddad Jimmy and Rose. He was determined to spend it but Fred is like his Mum, he likes to wander around a shop over and over again before making up his mind. Up one aisle we went, down the next and up the other one before repeating the trip. After about 6 or 7 of these wanderings I put my foot down and made him decide. Off he went to a shelf we hadn’t gone near, to get a green dinosaur, one we’d seen nearly six months previously but Fred hadn’t forgotten. The money from Ashtown went on that and his parents bought him some adventure figures that could battle the dinosaur. As it happens the dinosaur was a Gorgosaurus, one of the stars of the movie we’d just watched. Back home the toys were unpacked and war began. A perfect birthday afternoon.

That evening Lisa and Freddie set about baking his birthday cake, a chocolate one as requested. While they baked I went off to get the ingredients for Fred’s choice of birthday dinner, Creamy Mushroom Pasta, his six o’clock all was ready, Ruby was home and we sat down.

The table was set, candles were lit and a big bowl of Creamy Mushroom Pasta took centre stage. Just to add to the indulgence I made some garlic bread. It was wolfed down, Fred as quiet as could be, happily eating his favourite meal. The scent of garlic filled the air mixing with the melting wax like a real trattoria. Gorgeous boy, only gorgeous and all was as relaxed as any boy’s birthday should be.

Once all the pasta and garlic bread was gone the lights were turned off. Lisa placed the cake on the table with eleven candles burning, it looked so perfect. We sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and the look in Fred’s eyes was beautiful, he was loving his birthday. After a big gulp of air Fred blew out all the candles in one go and we set about Lisa’s beautiful cake. No one spoke; we were too busy eating again.

When all was finished Fred kneeled up on his chair, wiped his mouth and looked at the three of us...

“Thank you for the great birthday,” he said.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

A few minutes later he gave me a big hug and in my ear he whispered...

“You make me so happy, you’re great parents.”

I couldn’t answer that one, my throat had closed up and my eyes were pools of tears, I just hugged Fred tighter to me.

On Thursday evening Fred had a second party. This time we were in Conor and Cathy’s house in Dublin, up for Friday’s meeting at Temple Street. As it was Fred’s birthday we got a Chinese takeaway, another of his favourites, especially the prawn crackers, or the white crisps as he calls them. All was eaten with gusto, another great birthday meal.

After the meal more candles were blown out and we had more of Fred’s birthday cake, Lisa had brought it with us. Fred got hugs and kisses from his favourite Dubliners it was a lovely night all over again, the man shy at being the centre of attention but loving it too. He got a present of a Godzilla magazine, which he was reading still over breakfast this morning.

All that happened this week wouldn’t have been possible last year or previous years and for us that is just wonderful.

Now our lovely, wonderful boy is growing up, dealing with his condition but loving his life.

Happy Birthday Freddie.



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The End of the Holidays

As our holidays draw to a close none of us want to think of Monday. Back to school means driving and getting up at 7am. This morning I think Fred didn’t rise till gone 10am, a far cry from the days Lisa and I would be dragging him out of bed at 6am, in some mad hope that it would keep the epilepsy at bay. No, this morning the bleary eyed little man wandered into the kitchen, hair all over the place and stretching himself into the day. So come Monday morning a full week of early rises will begin and we’ll be back to what we call normal.

It’s been a great last week of holidays though. Outside of the lie-ins we’ve had plenty of visitors and plenty of fun to keep the winter blues away. On Friday we reached day 14 seizure free, which of course was wonderful and it’s always great when he passes the previous times total. Just before Christmas he only made it to day thirteen. Only is relative here as ‘only thirteen’ would have been “we are so happy to have made it to day thirteen” this time last year. The significance is that if he’d slipped to twelve days or even less we would have had a real worry on our hands. No one wants to go back to those days and for the moment that somewhat shorter gap may have just been a blip. This week we go back to Temple Street for the next step-up in the VNS output and we’ll see what that brings...

Monday saw the much anticipated visit of Auntie Claire and Boonie. All weekend Fred had been looking forward to seeing Claire and showing off what he got for Christmas. For most of the day he was wondering what was taking her so long, the little man not yet used to Auntie Claire’s ways...

“I’m so excited about seeing Auntie Claire,” he said to me first thing...

“When’s Auntie Claire coming?” was the question by lunchtime...

“I’m getting bored of waiting for that Auntie Claire,” was the word by mid-afternoon, accompanied by a big sigh.

Eventually by about 7pm the party arrived and Fred nearly turned himself inside out trying to get to the front door. The excitement was unreal. Auntie Claire wasn’t in the door before she was told of the great Santa Claus and what he brought. Of course Wolverine, Batman and Godzilla Rex were dragged out before we sat down for dinner but Auntie Claire took it all in her stride.

It was a great evening though. Plenty of food was eaten and the last of the wine was polished off. Chatting, laughing and telling stories are part of every great meal, elements that weren’t missing Monday night. To top it off Lisa Skyped Auntie Rudi in Minnesota so the three sisters got to chat and Fred had a chance to show his toys to his American cousins. By the time I took him off to bed Fred was well tired but he was worried that Auntie Claire would be there when he woke up....

“Dad? Can Auntie Claire stay for breakfast?” he asked as we went upstairs.

“Of course,”

“Can she stay for a long time?”

“We’ll see.”

When Auntie Claire did leave the next day Fred was sad, he said his goodbyes but I could see the upset in his eyes. Poor little man, the great days never last long enough

To cheer him up Fred and I went to do a few jobs around town. We found a parking spot outside the bank and nipped in to use the self-service ATM. I tried teaching Fred how to use it and he picked it up fairly quickly. Afterwards we went over to Eason’s to get Fred a comic. Unfortunately they had a choice of super-hero titles, six in all. This meant Fred had to go through each one. It’s not easy picking Ironman when Wolverine and Spiderman look just as good. Eventually Fred plumped for Spiderman, why I’m not sure, but my patience was wearing thin. I gave Fred the money and he paid the lady, nearly forgetting his change. For me just being in Eason’s, doing father and son things was great.

Lisa called as we left, we were having Jaden over. Freddie was delighted with the news. We drove over to collect him but when we got to the house it was all shut up, another family enjoying the peace no doubt. Fred got out and ran over to knock on the door. Jaden’s little brother let him in and I sat waiting. Normal life, you can’t beat it. After a few minutes Fred emerged with Jaden in tow and the two friends sat in the back, already playing a game on the J-man’s tablet.

Back home, as usual, Jayden just breezed in and took up his place on the couch, saying his hellos as he got comfortable.  The two got on with it, sometimes playing, other times doing their own thing, other times being fed by Lisa or just relaxing watching a movie.

For lunch we had a visit from Uncle Bill and Auntie Chrissie. Again it was great to have family over, more laughing and more stories were told. Fred was too busy with Jaden to pay much attention but the two boys ate their fill of everything, popping into the kitchen whenever they felt the need.

All in all it was another great visit. We said our goodbyes and Happy New Years late in the afternoon. Jayden however just didn’t want to go home. Eventually about 8pm Lisa got him out the door, with a cake in hand. On the way home in the car he asked if he could come over again the next day...we gave it a skip as it was New Year’s day but he was over again on the 2nd. It’s great for Fred; Jaden is the close friend he hasn’t had for years now. Recently when we were driving back from Dingle, after collecting Ruby, Fred was pointing out the houses where his friends from his time in Lispole School lived. Fred still remembers them, I wonder if they remember him?

Someday we’ll find out.

The one thing that we’ll have to get back to next week is regular sleeping. Our patterns are way out of sync and Fred has been all over the place. New Year’s Eve we all went to bed about 11pm and I tried explaining what New Year was all about to Fred. Without the fireworks it wasn’t as big a night as last New Year. In the end he got the concept of a new year but by the time midnight came around he was still awake. It was very quiet but you could hear the bells of Tralee’s churches ringing in 2014. The two of us sat up in bed listening, it was a beautiful sound.

After a few minutes Fred decided he couldn’t sleep and once more set off to find his Mum. This time he spent the night with her and I had the luxury of a full bed to myself.  The joy soon wore off ...I missed my man and his legs wrapping around me, his arms enveloping me in their love.

On Monday it will all be back to normal.

Somehow I can’t see Fred slotting back into a bed routine too quickly and his mother won’t be pleased.

There will be swearing and fighting.

Oh the joys of a normal life.



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