Yes, I know I have been missing in action of late. Yes, I have been very slack in relation to this blog, but sometimes life just takes over. This week has been one of those times.
I have been off having FUN!
I guess now you will want details, hmmm? Alright, but I'll have to start at the beginning, so get comfy, glass of wine or cup of coffee in hand, settle back and I'll spill...
Now, at least one here (hi S!) will know this story. Many years ago (June 2006 to be exact) there was a special needs section on a parenting website (I did mention I was going back to THE beginning, didn't I?). In that section there was a forum especially for parents of children diagnosed, or on the path to such, with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD. It was not my first experience of such forums.
In this forum, however, I found a really supportive group. Most had similar ideas and hopes for their kids to what we had. And in particular I became internet friends with one or two. So when the opportunity arose to meet one of these ladies and her son in real life I decided to risk stepping offline and into reality. It was late 2007 when we all met at Dreamworld for a day (myself, sons no.1 and 2, herself and her son). Now, we never can truly know if the person you know on the www is a true and fair representation of who they really are. I must admit, as it was my first such experience, I was scared and nervous. I guess she would have been also. But it was a really good, fun day, and we all seemed to get along very well. And I can honestly say she was as she had seemed to be on the web.
Fast forward to last Sunday. After two more years this friend, and her son, were returning to our sunny state for another holiday and had finally accepted our offer to stay. Of course, meeting someone for 1 day and talking to them online is not the same as having them stay in your home in close proximity for 4 nights. Hell, after some of my stoushes online, I am sure she was worried about being around me for that long too!
Still here with me? Well done for getting this far!
I guess you want to know how it all went? Or had you worked it out from my initial comments? It was fantastic! I can honestly say I feel as if I have known this friend for years (which, in a technological way I guess I had...). We laughed, talked, took the piss out of each other (okay, she mainly took the piss out of me, but hey, I certainly supplied ample opportunity), and generally enjoyed each others company. At no point was there any awkward pauses, even when our kids had their minor bouts.
It is rare in this life, that you find someone you click so decisively with. I am so blessed to have had this chance to get to know her, she is an amazing woman with incredible strength and a wicked sense of humour. And we had such FUN! Hurry back mate, this part of the world is awfully quiet and dull wihout you!