Sometimes I try and decide what to write here in advance. I'll look at some of the previous blogs and decide whether it should be funnier, or more cerebral. Then real life comes along and makes the decisions for me...
We decided to stay on an extra day at The Grandmothers. We'd had such a great time, and The Boy loves it there. The Grandad is a huge part of the attraction too. My own Dad died far too many years ago, and Step-Grandad has been around since The Boy was born. But there's something horrible about the 'Step' word, a callback to childhood fairy tales of the Wicked Step-Mother. So he's very much Grandad. And no finer Grandad could The Boy have.
The Grandmother and Grandad have dogs. The Boy loves dogs, like so many other autistic children. I never did get him the dog I mentioned earlier in the blog. We live in a flat with no garden, it just didn't seem fair. But Milly and Monty filled the gap. Milly, the older mother, and Monty, the playful youngster. The Boy and Monty share something very special. Milly humours The Boy, putting up with his endless attention, but Monty adores him, and they spend their time playing in puddles and rolling round together.
Milly had been unwell for some time. Old age taking its toll. Yesterday morning just before we left Grandad took her to the vets. And yes, you can probably guess where this is going...
Only Grandad came back.
And as his Grandparents stood in tears in the kitchen I went to tell The Boy. The unbearable weight of having to pass on hurt when all your natural instincts scream at you to protect them and wrap them up from pain forever and ever.
The Boy didn't react. No tears. Tears fall when you lose at Snakes and Ladders or when you can't find The Power Rangers Series 7 DVD. But not for heartache. Heartache eats away at you from the inside. Bubbles. Festers. But on the surface, nothing. And all I wanted to do was reach inside him and rip the pain out of him.
After what seemed an eternity of us just standing together - touching would only have made it worse - The Boy broke the silence.
"Does Monty know?"
And so we went out into the garden where Monty was playing. And The Boy sat down with him on the bench. He put his arms around him. Monty was excited to see him, licking his face.
"Milly's dead". The Boy said matter of factly. Then he flung his arms around him and the two of them just sat. And I know it's soft, soppy, over-sentimental shite, but Monty seemed to understand.
So the car journey back down South was a subdued affair. Dad sat swearing under his breath at the traffic on the M1 and M25. And The Boy dealt with his pain the way he deals with anything that upsets or worries him. He picked his nose continuously until it bled, the blood pouring out from his nostrils where there should have been tears from his eyes. But it helped him. A release. Physical pain, the pain you can see, so much easier to handle than the emotional pain inside.
He's much better today. Your boys will be just fine, Milly. And the next blog will have jokes, promise...
This blog is about bringing up The Boy. He's 12 years old and autistic. It's written by The Dad. It's my words, my view. Other people will think differently and have different opinions. Good.