Oisin is sitting with Uncle Bren in the kitchen, playing with his new “Dinoco Haluer” that carries “The King” from Disney’s “Cars” film (Thanks Joanne and family). Cillian is reading a story, firmly planted on Granny’s knee. We have just decorated the Christmas tree and two very special baubles from Eurodisney were hung on the tree this evening – Lightening McQueen and Mickey Mouse (sure, who else?!) I have finally got a free moment to sit the laptop back on my lap and get writing the blog!!!
We are just back from a week in Cork. What a fun and therapeutic week it has been. Here is a run down of events……
Tuesday – Arrived in Cork
Wednesday – Fota Island for the launch of “Imagine.” The boys loved the magical winter wonderland and their trip to see Santa. We enjoyed meeting Mrs Claus and the Elves who were hundreds of years old, especially Candy Cane who went on the train to Santa’s house with us and Alabaster who was the oldest Elf. Mischievous Oisin got a great laugh when he tweaked a bit of his beard off! Thanks to Aileen and her contacts for organising a magical Christmas kick off for the Bolands!!
Thursday – Play therapy session from a Sesame music and drama therapist we know through my friend Angela. Thanks Angela for your delicious “raw brownies” and your wonderful bag of toy figures. The boys were focused for the whole hour and seemed to take to it and the therapist well. Cilly is very receptive to drama and music so he took to it particularly well. It seemed to open up a number of themes I could help him with as the week went on, all of which revolved around his big brother. Suzanne came around for a cuppa and a play with the boys. The boys always enjoy linking up with you of course. Then later Miriam, my Kundalini Yoga teacher, came to do some healing with me. In Kundalini yoga the work is through the mother. Just to share a snippet, I remember a lovely image of Oisin holding hands with a little girl. I pictured them dancing and laughing as beautiful spirits together so free and so full of life, surrounded by white light. The Louis Armstrong Song, “Rolling around heaven all day” came along with the image. It was a very warm and comforting image. I often meet Oisin’s “spiritual self” in my mind’s eye, surrounded in glorious white light. It gives me huge comfort.
Friday – We met my beautiful friend Deborah in Clonakilty today and she treated the boys to a morning at the Model Railway Village and a scrummy lunch at her farm. Along with the joy of watching the trains chug around the model village, there was a soft play area that the boys got to enjoy all to themselves. It was the first time we have felt confident to let Oisin climb and slide and fool around with his little bro, knowing he is safe.
Saturday – Veronique and John came over for the afternoon to spend some time with us. Veronique did a wonderful job telling an animal story as part of her children’s yoga session. Oisin, being a silent observer, simply sat with his cars on the yoga mat and took it all in. Cilly, being a budding Yogini, was lost in the moment as he transitioned through elephant, monkey, crocodile, snake, dog and finished flying in the air on mummy’s legs!! Thanks for bringing yoga to the children – it certainly spoke to Cilly and Oisin seemed to connect with it in his own silent and beautiful way.
Sunday – Sunday was our big Christmas party afternoon. Oisin had invited all of his friends to the Radisson where a very spectacular Christmas party had been organised by Jacquie, Pierre and all of my Blackrock Hall Team. Oisin was in flying form, despite not having a nap all day he was so excited! It was a joy to see him with his friends, glued as ever to Calvin’s hip for the duration! There was Mickey and Minnie mouse. Oisin asked Mickey if he remembered him from Eurodisney and he asked Minnie if he remembered him from Douglas Shopping Centre – oh to have the memory of a 3.5yr old! Now I love singing and so does Cilly. As it turns out, so do some of my team mates, so I was just delighted to hear them sing their hearts out with their choir friends to all the Christmas classics – as did the very fine crooner, “Lounge Man” (eat your heart out Buble!!) Then we had the magician, who got Oisin giggling and joking just like he did with Reuben. To see Oisin’s witty humour shine through was magic in itself. It remains one of the best ways we connect with Oisin (that and the cars of course :-)). So then the big moment arrived when Santa came in, hearing all the Christmas wishes from the children and giving out gifts. The grand finale was pass the parcel organised by Brid. Very brave of you to facilitate Brid, but then I already know you’re a fab group facilitator!! The food was delicious too, and we came away with the most beautiful butterfly cake complete with edible butterflies- nice touch Margaret! We were also given a gorgeous art piece in chalk that had Oisin’s name and butterflies on it. Many thanks to the artist for your time and work. I will be very impressed if dear Pierre manages to transport the art over to our home in Cork – the challenge has been set! Thank you to everyone who took the time to come along to the party as Oisin’s very well thought of friends and family, and to all of the team in Blackrock Hall for your kindness and hard work.
Monday – A morning at our favourite beach in Myrtleville and lunch at Hassett’s, Crosshaven. We shared a very nice moment with a friendly stranger who was out walking her dogs. Myself, Barry and the boys had sat down to make rock piles (like Makka Pakka for those in the know) and draw patterns on the stones when three very affectionate dogs came along for a cuddle and gave Oisin and Cilly some impromptu animal therapy. Again it was lovely to see the smile on Oisin’s face as he interacted with the dogs. Nature and animals seems to bring out the best in us all. Later that afternoon we had more animal therapy from Rocko during our trip to see Barry’s Grand-Aunt, Liz. Lovely to share some time with you, Liz, and the offer still stands to look after Rocko whenever the family go on their hols – I totally fell in love with the playful, loving spaniel!!
Tuesday – Our final stop before heading home was in Oisin’s pre-school. We picked up a bag of colourful keepsakes that staff from the school had made for Oisin. Great to see you all and to see Oisin playing with his friends and the old familiar toys of the play room. I enjoyed watching Oisin out in the yard when his friends invited him to join them on the slide. I saw Oisin climb the ladder with such determination. I smiled when his friends started to copy him sliding on his back as they each announced to me that they were going on their holidays to Eurodisney soon :). Children have such curiosity and intuition.
So here we are back in Kildare, the boys now in bed. Oisin is still doing ok. Like last time, I enjoyed being a family of four again and sharing our time together for a few days. There are so many waves of emotion that come and go over the days. Without the cushion of the wider family in Kildare, I feel the waves of emotion more strongly when I am back in Cork. I reflected this week that in my profession there is much we try and do to help make people feel better or think more positively. As I go through this experience, I realise that no matter how many positive thoughts and ways I can view this journey, no matter how many distractions I can give myself, the heart breaking pain never leaves and simply cannot be anything other than what it is. Feelings cannot lie. All we can do is keep walking one step in front of the other and keep going through this. All any of us can do is try and be gentle with our pain and let it be a part of us as much as all the other emotions we feel.