Ok, so it's been a weird summer - to say the least. It started off really bad for me and frankly I did think it was going to be the worst time of my life. And in some instances it was but in others, it has been a fabulous time of self-awareness, discovery, learning and of growing up - finally...
I had a wonderful time with my children on holidays. I had rented this beautiful house in the Tarn & Garonne (30 min from Montauban and about 1h from Toulouse) and we loved it. The house was in a small village called Cazes-Mondenard, had a big swimming pool and about 3 acres of land, with peach-trees, apple-trees and even walnut-trees!
We spent 2 weeks of just swimming, eating and playing outside - walking the countryside and visiting the surrounding villages and towns. Not the most exotic holidays but definitely the nicest in ages. We all came back reinvigorated and tanned, the kids ate loads and slept lots and they have just grown and blossomed like the flowers in the fields.
And then they were back at school.
We didn't have anybody to look after Pearl after school but we found someone at the last minute (Monday to start Tuesday!) and we are so happy and blessed to have found her. She is a lovely girl who will be fabulous at helping Pearl work & get more self-sufficient. She will be supervised and trained by Pearl's A.B.A. psychologist and will do wonders, we have no doubt. Her name is Bérengère and we hope to have her around for a while.
Dylan is in 3rd grade and in the Headmaster's class. He was not massively happy to have a male teacher for the 3rd year in a row but he also has a woman teaching them 2 days a week - it's like a "share-teach", 2 days one and 2 days the other. So it's a good compromise and Dylan's off to a brilliant start with a 10 out of 10 on his first Poem. This year I will be working really closely with him to ensure he is happy in all the topics he is learning. He is brilliant at maths and at grammar & spelling but much less at graphics & telling stories... a logical but not very creative mind - that's ok, he probably gets it from me ;) Dylan is our ray of sanity, bless him, he is so endearing and loveable, and I am not biased!
Pearl is thriving despite all the changes. New school (but next to her brother's!), new teacher (but she knew her from previous school), new T.A. (teaching assistant - AVS in French), new Leisure Centre on Wednesdays, new Speech Therapist and she is starting sports with an association for disabled kids called "D'un Corps à l'Autre" on 3rd October. People are more aware of autism and many friends have met Pearl and all have said she is amazing and fun. I can only agree with that!
Both Dylan and Pearl have really coped fantastically with the week on/off schedule since the divorce but even more so since coming back from holidays. I guess this Summer has been a turning point for them too. They got to spend 3 fabulous weeks in Ireland with their Dad and his family and then 3 weeks with me. They now feel perfectly comfortable going from one place to another, and are also easy when I go over to their Dad's or he comes over to mine. They are great kids, I am so proud of them!
As for me, well, I have met some new people this summer and I really enjoy spending time with them. In particular my two girlfriends, Patricia & Nichola and plenty others I would spend hours mentioning... I am also in great physical shape and I love being so fit. I am training hard for the Half-Marathon of Boulogne Billancourt on 18th November but I am also planning some good gigs and travels on my free time.
Work is great, I am back in my old job which I absolutely love and I have not felt that healthy & comfortable in a long time. I think it shows and I hope i can share this renewed energy with the people I love.
I have been visiting the St Eustache church in Les Halles on a regular basis these past few months. I have prayed to Mary, asked her to give me strength, help me forget and forgive - and I think she has heard me. I sleep at night, I feel the peace. May you all find it too x