Tralee Life Life In An Irish Town


Waiting For The Big Day

Fred is hanging with the girls. Last night, Ruby and friends went to a gig in Killarney and two of them stayed over. Actually when we arrived back at ten past midnight Fred was in his pjs at the top of the stairs to welcome them home. Such had been the expectation that he hadn’t been able to sleep but he quickly drifted off once we got into bed. Now this morning he had breakfast with them and afterwards the four cuddled up under a blanket to watch a movie, Fred in between the two visitors. Christmas has truly arrived for the little man; all that waiting has paid off eventually.

All week he’s been counting down the days. Finally Fred has got it into his head that it’s a matter of days now and all he has to do is sit it out. Each morning we mark off the calendar and another door is opened on the Action Hero Advent one. Lisa and I have been counting the days as well, both of us aware that if Fred went through a good spell seizure free then that run could be broken on Christmas day, the last day you’d want it to happen.

On Wednesday Fred came out from school looking very tired and telling me he didn’t feel well. We drove home and he was twitching badly in the front seat. Luckily we got home and onto the couch without incident. He slept if off and was fine by the time Lisa got home at 5pm. Ruby was off ice skating in Cork so the two of us relaxed and it seemed to do the job.  That night Fred was saying he didn’t want to go back to school, he was too tired and it was time for holidays. For every kid the last day at school before Christmas holidays can be the best part of the year and I didn’t want Fred to miss it. So I told him there would be a party and he reluctantly agreed. I dropped him off in his civvies, no uniform day at school, and in he went anticipating a big day.

The excitement of national school kids when breaking up for Christmas is wonderful. Out they all come with whatever they made, decorations, Yule logs, cards and presents, proudly showing them off to the waiting parents. Fred was no different. He came out beaming having had a great day of eating and watching movies, possibly his best yet in education.

“I had a great time Dad,” he said, selection box of sweets in his hand, sitting up in the seat full of excitement.

“What happened?”

“Oh we had a party and did toy telling.”

“What’s toy telling?” I asked.

“Oh you know when you have to tell the class about your favourite toys.”

“Did you do it?”

“Yes,” he beamed “I stood up and told the whole class about Godzilla, Gigan, Mecha-Godzilla, King Gidorah and all the monsters.”


“Yes and when I was finished all my friends clapped and Ms O’Connor said I was brilliant.”

The tears in my eyes made driving dangerous, I was so pleased for him. I could only imagine the detail and the actions played out, every monster named and described. For Fred it would be a big thing to stand up and tell the whole class but it shows how comfortable he has become at Blennerville. Merry Christmas to them all.

At home he proudly showed Mummy his present and the selection box. The wrapped present went under the tree and Lisa opened the sweets. Then Fred went to his bag and pulled out the prize he won in the school raffle, a radio.

“Now I’ve got my own radio,” he declared, opening the box with a scissors.

I got some batteries and Fred turned it on. For the rest of the week the radio has gone everywhere with him and is beside the bed at night. He’s found some music channels and is getting used to its workings. His first radio and he loves it.

That evening he fell asleep while watching a movie and had a seizure about an hour later. At least we thought, it may now be out of the way for Christmas. Lisa and I did the routine, made him comfortable, settling in for the evening. Thankfully he only had the one, as per the last two events and he woke hungry about eight o’clock. The rest of the evening went peacefully and the two of us cuddled up in bed about 11pm, Fred sleeping the night through, me watching him, waiting for something to happen.

On Friday afternoon Ruby came home with the girls and Fred roused himself from the couch to go dance in the kitchen to the music they were playing. That evening he came with me as we drove over to the off licence to get a beer, twice going around town to look at the Christmas lights. Oddly enough he had another seizure about 7am Saturday morning but even that one he slept off and still came down for breakfast at about 11am. All in all not a bad way to see a seizure event through and hopefully that’s it for a few days.

Now we’re on the full countdown to the big day and our house is looking very seasonal thanks to Lisa.

Just before I came upstairs I checked tha20141216_114248t Fred was ok. Cosy under the blanket, cuddled to the two girls but yet had a sour look on his face...

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“I hate this movie, it’s boring,” he said.

Another lesson Fred will have to learn, there are times when you have to like those girly movies...

Plenty of time for that though, for now we’ll enjoy Christmas and see what Santa brings to those who’ve been nice...Happy Christmas.



Posted by John Verling

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