In spite of it being half term so I get to not have to do the school run twice daily and spend extra time with my gorgeous boys, it has been a difficult week and mood-wise I've felt quite dreary.
A has no work and the date when we will become officially skint is approaching at speed. This is the 31st December. A has worked tirelessly - he is at his desk in our old spare room by 7.30am each day - and has created several opportunities and meetings with companies who have shown some interest in forming a partnership with his marketing company. Only to then decide that they actually are not that interested after all for various reasons. Many of these company MD's are several years younger than A, whose morale has drifted to a point lower than I've ever witnessed, and it's been my job to push it back up to some level which at least permits some form of positive thinking. Without patronizing / assuming / sounding pathetic. I'm afraid that this week, I have allowed his mood to rub off on me.
Truthfully, I find being on a tight budget exhausting. Every pound spent feels like ten and the weekly food shop takes a lot longer than it should. The boys' jumper sleeves are creeping up their arms and I can't be bothered to have to shop around for rubbish which won't last longer than a season. And any thoughts of Christmas present-buying are immediately swept away to somewhere dark and out of reach. Several helpful family members have already told me they've bought pj's for the boys for Christmas, and I smile and thank although we need the warm winter sleeping attire right now, this minute. I have found that the money I earn is immediately swallowed by general living costs and feel frustrated that I have no funds to inject into my business.
Each school holiday, with the strict routine of school thrown out of the window, can also act as a shocking reminder of how dependent my eldest is. He is on the Autistic Spectrum and has an unofficial learning difficulty alongside this - ie it has never been given an official label. E is now twelve, yet I found myself hunched over amongst the crowds in the Science Museum today untying his baseball boots then swapping them to the correct feet. My seven year old helped me to re-tie the laces. This is not an isolated shoe occurrence - he has been known to put odd shoes on, one a trainer, the other a school shoe. It's not that we haven't taught E these skills - I spent an entire week over the summer on lace-tying - he simply has trouble withholding the information, and applying it. The simplest things can lead to hard work and confusion. And E also doesn't feel things like other children, so wouldn't necessarily find his oddly placed shoes uncomfortable. Today's event forced the return of the question to the front of my brain, the one I hate to ask: how will E cope when he is nineteen, twenty-five, forty? When we're gone???
On a brighter note, tomorrow I am going back to my therapist roots to volunteer at a Katie Piper Foundation workshop. I will be offering massages to people dealing with deformity of various kinds, which I am sure will help me to put everything neatly back into perspective.