However you look at it, it's a long time. And it's been a very busy year with ups and downs and lots of action. Last time I wrote, James had finished his first term in his new school - he's just started his second year!
How fast the year has flown and how much he's achieved in that time never ceases to amaze me. As I dropped him off yesterday, I reflected on the things that seemed unlikely a year ago - he now (occasionally) takes himself to the toilet, he assists in most activities of daily living with a persistence st tasks like dressing that was not there previously, he is showing more awareness and understanding of his environment (sometimes unwelcome - when I finally realised he was able to take the key for the back door out of the drawer and try and unlock the door I had to quickly think of a new hiding place!), he eats sandwiches (have you ever tried making a packed lunch every day for a child who doesn't eat sandwiches in any form?!), he has learnt to use a "regular" swing (the sight of me trying to manhandle a child of over 5 foot in and out of a bucket swing designed for toddlers is no doubt amusing for onlookers but not much fun for me or James). His communication is better and more reliable although his vocabulary hasn't extended much beyond food. He is still the happy, energetic boy who gives the best hugs in the world and being away at school has only changed things for the better. I never doubted that but the purse holders seemed to think it would be detrimental to his well being. Where are they now? Most of them have moved on to other posts which is probably just as well as I have returned to work one day a week and am now ready to empower more families to kick them into action! I feel ready to support those who have no voice and my experience and knowledge can only help them. I feel ready for battle again and whilst my own is won (for now) countless others are still to be fought.
Let battle commence....