Tralee Life Life In An Irish Town


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.




Posted by John Verling

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