“Right.. ummm… how can we make holidays happen, Ben?” I began asking in late July. Essentially we can’t plan ahead, or leave the UK until summer 2023.
I don’t want to be maudlin. It feels odd to be moaning about vacations under these life-threatening circumstances, but most people consider these to be the high points of life. The time you get together to stop the clock and have fun as a family. To not be able to look ahead through the difficult times and have the prospect of exciting adventures for the boys, is an unfortunate casualty of cancer treatment.
It will always be a last minute thing. If Joshua is ok.
It doesn’t mean we can’t do some nice simple activities, but we can’t invest cash. Or we can, but you will lose that £1000 you’ve paid for a holiday home at the coast, if it turns out you can’t go.
Or the other scenario is… you go away, he gets a temperature. We then have an emergency few days in Trelisk hospital which over-runs the time booked into the holiday home and end up essentially homeless in Cornwall. What then? I can stay in hospital with Joshua, but Ben and Louis. Where do they live until we can travel home?
In this time of Coronavirus, I didn’t fancy camping in the van with communal toilets and sinks.. there were NO pitches available anyway. I therefore scheduled in some things that could be cancelled without consequence. Long-awaited trips to visit friends.
I thought something would come along to trip us up, but luckily it didn’t. Maybe Louis not having been in school for months, cavorting with lots of bugs, set us up well for a period of good health. So after nine months of never leaving our house, we have ventured out and been on a slight south-west road trip.
When it was roasting hot we were in the Malvern hills.. and then moved on to the coast, to breathe in the sea winds.
We have ridden bikes.
Played in big buckets of soapy water. (the children, not me, obviously)
Run in to the sea… run out of the sea… run in to the sea… shouting woahhhhhhh.
Been on short country walks with a lot of toddler-moaning.
Drank a bit of wine. (Ok… I mean quite a lot of wine).
Swung on rope swings.
Baked cakes (guessing the weight of ingredients and mixing it in a saucepan) whilst storms lashed the windows.
Warmed my face in sunshine. Read absolutely no pages of my book. Sigh.
Eaten fabulous home-made pizza.
Holidays can be an exhausting business with little people, especially those enduring treatment. I have paid for this in sleep.
But having a change of scene after so long, has been cleansing; and watching their smiley faces whilst enjoying the simple pleasure of playing in the sea, was precious. I can only remember my time at the beach from when I was a small child. I have no memory of what else I did with life in the other 50 weeks of the year.
When the future is uncertain, we have to grasp the chances that appear. So be warned friends, we’re probably coming to visit.