We went to my brother's house in Leitrim for Easter. Lady and Thomas played with their cousins, Lady mostly played up with 6 year old C. and Thomas with 4 year old E. They get on really well together. Duncan preferred to ride a trike around outside. He had a notion to buy a toy bow and arrow (or "boanarro" as he wrote on his first trial on Google) and didn't really accept my explanation that toy shops are closed on Easter Sunday. Well, copious quantities on chocolate helped settle everyone, and we adults enjoyed good food, a few drinks and much chat.
Lady and Thomas stayed for 3 extra nights with their cousins, which was, by all accounts, a very successful event. They went swimming in a super duper, waves and slides pool, then they all won medals in some children's races at a 10k race my SIL ran. The village they live in seems to be populated by a strange breed of Irish folk who all run. Well, there are worse vices than could inflict them.
It was odd having just one child. Gordon and I took Duncan into Belfast on the train. We visited the Disney store to buy his much wanted bow and arrow toy, then we ate at Nandos in the newly opened and very posh Victoria Square shopping centre. Duncan was marvellous. He had his shouty moments. He always does, but so what. He was as happy as a boy can be on the train. Watching him, we talked about how fantastic we think he is, and how glad we are to have him. Having autism enter our lives was unexpected, unwelcome at first (before I figured out that autism=Duncan, which is obviously all good) and something that shook us right up, leading us to make choices in nearly every aspect of our lives that we might otherwise not have made.
But mostly, Duncan is just so blinkin' adorable, with his big eyes, his big tooth, his curls and all his games.
Duncan too had a night away from home at my dad's apartment, leaving we adults home alone. We ate out that evening, and then to be even more decadent, went out again for breakfast. In the afternoon we all drove around to pick up the travellers, so had our wee family back together again.
Since then, I can't quite remember what we've done. Lady went to a holiday activity scheme at a leisure centre a few times with her friend from next door. The children's usual classes and activities were off for the school holidays, so even though we're home-educators, the children were in holiday mode and we were (even) more disorganised than usual.
I do remember yesterday though. It was our 12th wedding anniversary. I don't know how that's even possible seeing as I'm still 24... My dad and step-mum took the children for a few hours and Gordon and me went for lunch at the Mourne Seafood Bar in Belfast. Rather romantically, among the songs playing softly in the background, was what we choose for the first dance at our wedding party. (OK, pass the sick bucket!) More importantly, the food was fabulous, and it's somewhere we'll definitely be back to.
My youngest brother and his family had also come up to Dad's place, so we enjoyed seeing them for the first time since his baby's christening. Both Thomas and Duncan were delighted with baby D, sitting beside him stroking his little head, though Duncan was a bit worried about D's touch of cradle cap, saying he had to sort the 'creepy crawlies', referencing what I tell the boys when I'm checking them over for nits!
So it's back to normal today, or at least what passes for normal here.