A surprising result of our family being forced to stay at home thanks to a drained bank account (Christmas in general expenses and ridiculous holiday care fees) is that we have all had a week of the calm and quiet that each one of us needed.
The melt-downs have just about receded as Erin has had run of the house, choosing when to play intensely, eating when hungry and playing in the pool with his step-brother when the moment calls.
This is not to say that there have not been any moments where negotiation and reminders of 'green thoughts' have been needed - in fact I can hear in the next room that this is exactly what is happening as Erin turned on the TV in his room and found a different dvd playing than the one that he had expected. All minor though.
For me, this quiet, gentle time has resulted in spontaneous thoughts about the writing of my thesis and an insight into just how much of my thinking-time was devoted to running this family this previous year and the difficulty in staying focused on my studies.
Next year will be much the same, only I will be that little bit older, slightly wrinklier, and hopefully a little better at organizing our lives so as not to get constantly sick, run-down and pulling-my-hair-out stressed as was the year almost past. With a little bit of luck, Oliver will feel more secure living in this family and Erin will get the support that he so much needs from his new school; I am really hoping that the school's motto 'love one another' manifests in the ways that the children relate to each other in the playground.
Although there is no magic in the turning of the calendar's last page, I still hope that this year will bring with it renewed energy, a completed and submitted thesis and most of all two content and healthy boys. For now I will revel in the last day of quiet reflection and celebrate making it through the first year of Erin's diagnosis intact.
I wish you all a wonderful year.