> The Beesley Buzz: Endings and New beginnings

Endings and New beginnings

The end of one year and the beginning of the next is a natural ending and new beginning time but in our family this year there seems to be a flurry of 'endings' which I am trying to remind myself to see in the context of new beginnings too.

Back to School
The biggest change that is going to affect our day to day lives is that our eldest son is going to be returning to school. He's been homeschooled for 3 years and before that we was on a part-time timetable at school for some time so he has not been at school full-time for around 4 years.

After he saw how happy his brother was at school, he decided he was prepared to give it a try. Neither he nor we were prepared to give mainstream another chance though as they got it so wrong for him before and were just so ignorant about special needs and ASD in particular.

So he will be starting at a specialist ASD unit where we hope the support and expertise they have will enable him to settle in. Just like we made D a video of his best home-schooling bits, we plan to do the same for J. We've had a really amazing 3 years. We've had ups and downs. Thankfully more ups than downs. Academically J has gone from being a 'refuser' of doing school work when he was at school to achieving beyond our expectations.

Sculptor Guy Portelli awards First Prize to J

J wins first prize in an art competition - Here he is holding one of his prizes
But the last year has been tougher. Post-natal depression stripped me of my patience. And when you have a child with ASD one thing you need oodles of is patience. So I wasn't reacting in the best way to his difficulties and meltdowns and on many days I lost my own motivation and passion for home-schooling. That wasn't fair on J. This way he gets a break from me and I get a break from him. Because everybody needs a break sometimes and it turns out the 3 year point of full-time J was the point at which I found I needed a break.

I remember life was more stressful when he was at school though. I don't want to forget the reasons we started homeschooling. I don't want to forget the many many benefits of home-school. I don't want that decision to ever seem impossible again or as hard to make as it was the first time if we ever need to home-school in future. And I don't want to forget the amazing times and the fun we had.

This is a new chapter for J - He is excited about school. I want to be excited for him too.

Farewell to Walter
It was the same week as we found out about J's school place that we also received a letter from Compassion telling us that our sponsorship of Walter had come to an end. He isn't the oldest child that we sponsor but he is the first of our 4 sponsored kids to come to the end of their time in the project so it came as a bit of a shock.

We wrote a farewell letter to him as there isn't the opportunity to stay in touch - that felt really emotional. Although we have never met him, this child (who is now a young man) has been part of our lives since he was just a toddler.

And yet at the same time as sadness, we felt so proud of him. Of the young man he has grown into. And we hold hope for his future. Hope he would not have had without the support of the Compassion project. We pray for amazing opportunities for him and we pray for many blessings for his future.

In the same envelope came a photo of another child needing sponsorship. One who has been waiting a long while for a sponsor. His name was Emmanuel. It was the week before Christmas. How could we say no.

So that brought a smile to us through the sadness of having to say farewell to Walter, we are able to say hello to Emmanuel.

Bye Bye Breastfeeding
After debating with myself (and with the blog!) over the past few months whether to stop breastfeeding Miss T, I have finally come to the decision that it would be best to. There are a number of health reasons for me that mean it is just not working out anymore. All the while I am feeding her, I am not able to take the painkillers that could help keep the arthritic pain at bay and after having a bad flare-up over Christmas I have decided that I need to try to get the painful days under control again.

Apart from anything else, the kids have noticed how much grumpier I am when my back is bad so hopefully it will ultimately benefit them too.

So as I type this, I am sat here with boobs heavy with milk trying not to give in to feeding. I can't quite remember how many days it will take for the milk to stop. The boys were both younger and they weren't taking such big feeds at the time I stopped with them. I remember it being a gradual process where I had to feed every other day to start with, but I've not fed for several days now so don't want more milk to be produced by feeding again.

Again it is with emotion that I say bye to breastfeeding because if it were not for those other reasons, then I would continue for longer until both Miss T and me felt it was the right time to stop. But on the other hand she happily takes a bottle of milk at bedtime and it gives daddy more bonding time with her to be able to do the milk as part of the bedtime routine. She is also going to be 21 months this week and so we have managed a good long stretch of breastfeeding despite a few initial difficulties.
Miss T is nearly 21 months - time to stop breastfeeding?
Calling it a day at Drama
At to top it all off, D decided that he wants to quit drama! He has done so well and it has really helped his confidence. He sings the songs confidently and does amazingly well in the shows each term. But he has recognised that he has a lot on each week and just felt it was too many things to do. As much as we don't want him to stop, I feel that we need to respect his decision on this.

Perhaps it will free up some time to spend together as I know this is something he has really missed lately.



Reasons to be Cheerful

20 comments:

  1. 21 months of breastfeeding is amazing!!! Well done to you! I'm sorry you've been in alot of pain lately, I will look to see if there any foods that could help with arthritic pain. Lots of Love, Laura x x

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    1. thanks Laura. I have a feeling that celery is supposed to be good? When i first got the arthritis when i was 10 i tried all sorts of dietary changes - excluding foods, trying weird things like a honey and vinegar mix, nettles etc etc, nothing seemed to have a tangible effect but do let me know if you know of anything to try. xxx

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  2. Wow, you are being very brave going back to school - but lucky you having the specialist ASD unit! (only a tiny bit jealous ;)) Really hope it works out well for you, and that you don't miss the amazing bonding experience that homeschooling must have brought too much. Difficult too making the breastfeeding decision I'm sure, seeing as it's based on what you need - but if you switch it around, the children are happy if you are well and happy and actually I'm sure she won't miss it in the long term. You did so well already! Good luck with the new beginnings - good time for it :) x

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    1. thank you Steph. He has waited long enough to have a good experience in the education system so i really hope this will be it - it would be so great for him to really enjoy school before he heads off to secondary school. xxx

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  3. Good luck to J at his new school! What a huge change that will be, for you all, so I really hope he settles in OK. And well done for breastfeeding for so long, 21 months is brilliant. I only managed 6 weeks with W, but I think it took about a week for the milk to stop. Rx

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    1. thanks Rachel - I know it is a huge change and with such mixed emotions because we've come to feel so strongly that home-ed is such a fantastic way of learning and it has worked out so well that it feels difficult to stop but at the same time, it should make secondary choices a bit easier to decide as we were feeling lost about what to do with that. xxx

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  4. Well done for all the home schooling you have done! I'm not sure I could do it. Good luck with going back, there should be more asd specialist units xx

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    1. there certainly should be more ASD units and far more awareness in all schools! All the units in our county were full so they had to take J's case to complex case panel in order to get a place which caused a delay for him, but at least it is sorted now. xxx

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  5. Love the open and honest post. I think it is important that us mums say we are not sure we are doing the right thing sometimes. That helps other mums so much in itself. And why should we get it spot on all the time - we are human, we make mistakes and we learn from them.
    You made me think that it would be fab if there was a middle ground between school and home-schooling. I wish I had home-schooled but always felt I would not be good enough at it so bottled it. A halfway type scheme would have appealed.
    I like posts that make me think so thanks for that.
    Post-natal depression made me lose months and years of my life - good you have recognised it and are easing up a little on yourself although sense you could do far more of that easing up on yourself in 2014. Sorry if that is too personal.

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    1. thank you Kate. You seem to have the ability to read between the lines and know exactly what I'm feeling. I totally agree about that middle ground idea. We did try part-time schooling for a while in the past but schools are generally not so supportive of it (and i think it comes down to whether a school gives permission for that or not). Whereas homeschool gives a lot more freedom. Whilst there is lots of support from home-ed groups out there - i think there is a gap for something else in between - not quite sure what. thanks for popping by. xxx

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  6. Oh my! so many huge changes going on for you right now, I wish you the best of luck with all the transitions and congrats on turning your endings into new beginnings, thats a lesson for us all :-)

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  7. Loved your honesty in your post.
    I hope J settles in happily with his new school. Home-schooling was something we were very prepared to consider if D wasn't happy in her SN school, fortunately she is but you are right, there just isn't enough provision.
    Congrats for b/feeding for so long, it's something I couldn't do for any of mine and you've given her such a good start, I hope now that you can take the painkillers, the benefits are quickly felt x

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    1. thanks so much for your encouraging words Jeannette. xxx

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  8. So much change, and most of it really exciting and hopeful. Wishing J the very best in his new school and I hope that you will post about how he gets on xx

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    1. ahh thank you! I'm sure we will be keeping everyone posted on how he's doing. So far so good which we are abviously really pleased about but it is early days. xxx

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  9. Lots and lots of changes all in one go! Have you noticed the benefits of stopping breastfeeding already? I get so much more loving from C (stopped at 24m), hugs etc ... Before all she was interested in was feeding! speak soon. sorry I did not see your post sooner xxx Looking forward on reading about the progress! x

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    1. thanks Niki. I still have milk coming through so i'm hoping that will stop soon. T has always been quite cuddly anyway but now she will cuddle up with a book rather than try to ask for milk. xxx

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  10. Gosh you beat my max 16 months! Really hope he does well back in full time school, sounds like the support is there this time. I miss being able to sponsor a child maybe one day in the future... Thanks for joining in .

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    1. it's still early day for him at school but so far he is doing well. xxx

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