We are about to go off on holiday - our first one together - and we are both very, very, excited.
PJ has been desperate to see the sea - as she has memories of going on holiday with her foster carers previously, which she clearly loved, so the stakes are high.
I've tried not to feel the pressure of my perception of what children might have experienced with their foster carers and comparing it to what I might be able to do and afford but at times I have wondered if I will do it well enough. That aside, this is our chance to create new memories and for us to be family and hopefully set some traditions in place that will form our basis of our family holiday - and all that that means for us. There is no pre-requisite, so I should not pre-judge myself.
We have talked for months on and off about going on holiday and her memories of her holiday and I have re-affirmed that one day we will go on holiday but not yet.
I didn't want to go too far away as I didn't want to trigger the going back to where she has come from for PJ and I also have heard stories from adopters of the first holiday not being so great so don't want to travel to far if we need to come home - or for the holiday to be too long. We have only been away for a couple of one night stays away from home so far and only travelled for a couple of hours to reach our destination. With this in mind, I began to plan. I have studied the maps and worked out which beaches we can get to without driving for hours and hours and hours and hours and then have to travel forever again to get home. Success is my aim for this holiday experience, rather than a big holiday to the sun via a plane!
I found what I wanted and booked it.
I kept it quiet until we broke up for Nursery half term holidays break as it would have overwhelmed PJ and the excitement would have been too much, I fear.
The Nursery holidays arrived and I announced that we would go to the seaside for our holiday.
Big beaming smile and then the list of what we will do - dig in the sand, splash in the sea, build and sandcastle, eat ice cream, go for a donkey ride and eat fish and chips.
We have done a countdown from 5 sleeps to go and had a few wet pants and a little hitting the last few days, it has to be said - but I have managed to pull in the reigns quickly and we have both hung in there, whilst counting down for our holiday by the sea. Then yesterday and today PJ has helped me select a few toys and favourite DVD's and books to take with us. She has done really well.
And now it is only 1 more sleep to go.
So, we have swimming costume, beach towel and bucket and spade packed and ready waiting by the door.
Little house by the sea, here we come.
We can't wait.
Some sun would be nice but right now we don't care.
Excitement has taken over.
In reality, I now need to pack my own clothes.
I hope everything fits in the car!