You know those really cool families from TV / films etc who go on absolutely amazing luxury holidays to far flung countries?! I was not in that family. My family toured Europe in a camper van (also known as an RV, among other things...). I’m still, to this day, ridiculed by my brother for leaving our step at a very remote rest stop when my ONLY job was to remember to lift it into the van before we drove away. Let’s just say my legs became extra nimble on that particular trip!
Joking aside, I’d really not have traded those memories for all the luxury in the world. As a child I just wanted to be outdoors exploring, which is exactly what I was able to do! My brother went on to travel the world to do charitable work which is something I will always be in absolute awe of him for. I however am not someone who likes to travel as a rule, although now I am a mum myself, I’ve become aware of our triplets lack of holidays to this point (they are six). In all honesty, they have only ever stayed under our roof or a hospital.
Why? Well, for one thing, I have Multiple Sclerosis that is exacerbated by heat leaving me fairly useless in warmer climates. One of our triplets also has complex health needs that mean travel is really far from straight forward. Whenever they were younger I was recovering from a fairly intense treatment for my MS which took several years. Jacob then also had numerous spells of poor health which resulted in needing brain surgeries and a lot of time in hospital. The bottom line is our circumstances make it tricky to plan the following week nevermind a family holiday. It was just never a priority if I’m honest!
This year is different though. Last summer was incredibly difficult for us all due to a really bad period of ill health for our wee warrior. I’ll not get into the details, but we all came out feeling traumatised by the experience. Since then we have made a very conscious decision to try our best to get a family holiday together. Because air travel is tricky and warm climates are not ideal, I’m revisiting my own childhood with my three kids! We have been offered the use of our family’s holiday cottage and have readily accepted.
We’ve been thinking about where to stop along the way, what we need to bring, where Jacob can sleep safely, where we can visit that’s accessible, how we can get to the regional children’s neurosurgical unit in an emergency, how to prepare him for the “changes” that week and so on. It’s not easy to plan despite being a “staycation”, although lots of families plan MUCH bigger trips with children of all abilities so I have confidence we can do it. We’re all really excited to make these very precious memories together. Hopefully I’ll do another blog after we are back about what I’ve learnt from the inevitable hiccups along the way!