Matthew Munson: A routine week with holiday camp and decorating

Matthew and Bryan

I don’t have any particular theme to talk to you about today; last week, if you recall, I wrote about a tree, but it made sense in my head. This week has been somewhat routine, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing; Bryan was at a holiday camp for two days and with his grandparents for a day in order to let me work, and he went without so much as a blink of an eye.

He knows his way around holiday camp very well, as he’s gone for the past few years (lockdown excepted) and wanders off with excitement as he realises there is swimming or Swedish Long Ball or any number of different activities to do. As he walked down the stairs into the hall the other day, I called out, “I love you!” and got the simple reply of “Yep.” I couldn’t stop laughing; he’s 11, I didn’t really expect anything else.

His bond with his nan and granddad is special; he is clearly devoted to them, as they are to him, and they have lovely times together. It’s genuinely beautiful to see, and the fact they are only ten minutes away is really helpful. Their regular Wednesday times are wonderfully special, and he clearly feels safe with them; I felt the same with my own grandparents when I was a child, so it’s lovely to see the cycle continuing. He has a sleepover with them on Sunday night, and I’ve not stopped hearing about it for the past week.

I’ve been redecorating our flat recently. Well, when I say that I’ve been redecorating it, what I mean is that I’ve paid someone else to paint every room; the last two will get done in about three weeks and all will be well. Bliss! It’s lovely to have everything done, but the upheaval is always exhausting.

Bryan has been delighted with his room (the first room we concentrated on), to the point where he told me today that he loved spending chill-out time in there. He originally hated spending time by himself, especially out of my eyeshot, but he’s clearly getting more confident and contented – and, with the redecoration of his room, he has a space that he had fully claimed and been involved in doing. I’m looking forward to sharing some pictures when everything is done – so close and yet still a few more bits to do.

An average week, where nothing particularly exciting happens, is a lovely week; it shows that we are living a normal life. I need to make sure Bryan is kept occupied, and also able to feel confident in managing some of his own time as well – and, of course, actually spending time with him. He’s great company, but if I jealously kept him all to myself, then I wouldn’t be doing him any favours.

This weekend, we’ve caught up with some different friends and, as I’ve said, Bryan has a Sunday night sleep-over with his nan and granddad. He won’t think of me at all, of course, but that means he’s secure and he’s safe – and that he trusts the people we go to see, and wants to spend as much time with them as with me.

We missed out on some years together, Bryan and I, but we are definitely making up for it now. As he enters puberty, he will also enter a new phase of his life and start thinking about independence – who he spends that time with, how he ensures he stays safe, and how he communicates with me so that he can enjoy his time out. He’s been out of my care before, but always with adults present; birthday parties and playdates, for example. Going out without an adult hasn’t really happened yet, so some new experiences to come.

I’ve also bought Bryan a new laptop for him to use at school, which is going to be very helpful. But, of course, I need to have a conversation – several conversations, in fact – with him about how to stay online. The internet moves on dramatically every day, and Bryan needs to understand it, but also needs to stay within certain boundaries – we’re going to be working that out together, and what a privilege it is to help Bryan learn and continuing becoming a better person.

1 Comment

  1. Such a great article to read. Wonderful to see this is such a close family and that Bryan will get the guidance that is needed.
    Hope the future gets brighter and brighter for him and his family, you will enjoy lots of laughs and the memories will be priceless.
    LIVE, LAUGH AND LOVE is a very appropriate banner for you all.

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