I can’t actually believe we are here. Dixie turning three soon is a bigger milestone than I ever imagined, as we are ‘graduating’ from Hawthorn. Our Tuesday refuge.
We are at the beginning of the end. The little life we have comfortably grown over the past 2.5 years will very soon change forever.
In some ways I feel ready to move on into the big bad world. But in others I want to hide away in our second home for a while longer. But no matter my feelings either way, the inevitable is that our place will be gone forever after tomorrow.
With this in mind I’ve been reflecting on our time spent there. The people that have passed through, the friends I have met and made. The staff that have become as much a part of my Hawthorn ‘family’ as the parents.
I still remember our first visit. I was so nervous as it was my first experience within a specialist setting. At almost five months old, Dixie was still a small baby so I wasn’t ready for the label that I thought going somewhere like that would give her.
Despite there being a waiting list, I managed to get a spot starting the very next day. I can remember wracking my brains, trying to think of an excuse to delay our place a little longer. I was expecting a few more months to get my head around it all.
And yet, here I was sitting in a room full of strangers. A room full of parents who were chatting and laughing. They were sharing cheese cake and making plans for a night out. I don’t even know what I expected but it wasn’t this warm environment. It was lovely.
Before I could change my mind I said yes. And I can safely say that saying yes that day was the start of my healing. It was the beginning of a new chapter in our lives.
In the years I have been coming to Hawthorn, I have felt complete. I’ve made a support system that I could only dream of. I have laughed and I have cried. I have eaten my body weight in pizza and chocolate and I have discovered a strength I didn’t know I had.
Dixie has found it tougher than me, and separation has been difficult, but that’s where the wonderful staff come in. They want to help. They want you to have a break because they know you need it.
I have relied on that place and the people inside it for so long, it’s going to be an adjustment for sure.
When something is troubling me, I know I’ve ‘always got Tuesday’.
When I’m looking for guidance, in my mind ‘I’ve always got Tuesday’
When I’m dog tired and need grounding, I can revive cos I know ‘I’ve always got Tuesday’
But alas no more.
It’s time for us to move on and let some other family benefit from such an amazing respite.
And if you’re that parent about to embark on a place like Hawthorn, do not hesitate. Grab it with both hands.
It will change your life. Promise.