A Pebblelife story – carers week countdown

It’s a week until Carers Week 2015….so over the coming days i’ll be sitting back thinking a bit and wittering on about carer life in all the aspects I know it in. As one of my heroes Ferris Bueller said of life  ‘Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it’. And don’t tell me Ferris Bueller wasn’t a real person because to me and my friends growing up he was a legend.

Anyhow, I’ll start this week by telling you a tale of three little Pebbles.  Little Pebble With A Big Splash, Twinnie Pebble and 4 Year old Ex-Pebble.

Little Pebble With A Big Splash landed with a plop in a pool nearly 5 years ago on a Friday afternoon, and about 20 seconds later Twinnie Pebble plopped in too.  Before that Friday afternoon there was only 1 other person in the pool, a 4 Yr Old Ex Pebble (a veteran of the Pebble stage) who was happily playing around.

When the Little Pebble W.A.B.S landed it was a pebble nobody was ready for.  He really was an amazing little pebble, beautiful, shiny and spectacular inside but not everyone could see it straight away – only people that wanted to look past the broken edges on the Little Pebble with a Big Splash.

Little Pebble W.A.B.S  spent 3 months in hospital being shined up, having operations, looking beautiful but with people saying he wasn’t the pebble they expected because he had something called Cerebral Palsy. Doctors said a lot of hard to hear things about Little Pebble W.A.B.S, they didn’t know that he was a determined little pebble, a lot bigger inside than he was on the outside.

The big splash that Little Pebble with a Big Splash caused meant that when Twinnie Pebble plopped in about 20 seconds later he got washed to the side of the pool a bit- he had landed in wavy water. Twinnie Pebble was just as tough as Little Pebble with a Big Splash – but he didn’t have something  called Cerebral Palsy.  Twinnie Pebble showed the world from Day one that he meant business, he was all kinds of tough.

Meanwhile there was the 4 yr old Ex Pebble in the pool.  He’d been a pebble – he knew how being a pebble worked ; people came and looked at your shininess, you smiled, they smiled, you looked cute and they were easily impressed, you got toys and everything was brilliant, being an only pebble. He’d mastered being a pebble so well he was on the cusp of being a stone – he started school the day before Little Pebble with a Big Splash and Twinnie Pebble landed.  On that Friday afternoon he’d been playing in the pool and suddenly a wave hit him and sunk him – he had to splutter and scramble to the side of the pool and get his breath back.  Ex Pebble wondered what the heck was going on.

So, Little Pebble with a Big Splash continued to get shinier in hospital, proving to people that there was a lot more behind the broken edges and that his sheen would come through given a bit more time.  Twinnie Pebble continued to do the pebble routine he learnt from the Ex Pebble ; look cute, get bigger and you’ll be a stone in no time.  Over the first 2 or 3 years Twinnie Pebble didn’t really notice that he was different at all from the Little Pebble with the Big Splash – he just saw him as his twin pebble. There was nothing going to change that, because pebbles that land on the same day know things that nobody else knows about each other it’s #pebblelife, a bit like #thuglife but for pebbles.

The 4 yr old ex Pebble played along, he spat the water out after getting to the side and carried on playing about in the water that now always seemed to be ebbing and flowing in waves.  He kept swimming (yes, a swimming pebble, they do exist) but it was hard work. Sometimes the current just meant that no matter what he did he couldn’t go forward, other times he could ride the ripple for a bit.  He even tried going back to being a little pebble sometimes but it just wasn’t the same.

This ebbing, flowing and rippling went on for 4 more years for Twinnie Pebble and the Ex Pebble.  Sometimes when they ripples went their way it was great ; they could play together with the Little Pebble with the Big Splash, they could go on holiday and they knew that mummy and daddy pebble were happy and it was a brilliant #pebblelife. There were weird bits of their pebble life that weren’t the same as everyone elses but it never bothered them.  Twinnie Pebble was learning to do all the things that little pebbles do , running, playing, talking and he started to realise that Little Pebble W.A.B.S couldn’t do that.  Twinnie Pebble used to say to mummy and daddy pebble that Little Pebble with a Big Splash was just not learning those things as quick as him because he was a baby – when actually Little Pebble with the Big Splash was 20 seconds older.  Ex Pebble got a lot of sudden changes of plan ; mummy pebble may say one day that daddy pebble would pick him up at school but then at home time Gran Pebble would be there not daddy pebble because daddy pebble had had to go to the hospital to meet mummy and the Little Pebble with a Big splash.  Ex Pebble didn’t understand it but it didn’t bother him, it must be normal, everyone must have a Little Pebble with A Big splash at home right? That must be how #pebblelife works?

Both Twinnie Pebble and Ex Pebble also had the days where swimming made no difference ; when there wasn’t time to talk to mummy or daddy because of Little Pebble W.A.B.S’s appointments or meetings.  When lots of people were coming in to see Little Pebble W.A.B.S they just got used to having to behave and stay out of the room ; sharing mum or dad with these strangers.  Having to keep things to themselves when they could see mum or dad were upset or bothered by things going on with Little Pebble with a Big Splash.  Ex Pebble hearing off other people about what they were doing that he couldn’t do because of the reality of everyone looking after Little Pebble W.A.B.S.  Twinnie Pebble heading off to a nursery different than Little Pebble W.A.B.S.

I don’t know how the story ends for Little Pebble with a Big Splash, for Twinnie Pebble or Ex Pebble.  There’s a lifetime in front of all three.  What all three pebbles need is for people to have some insight about what it was or is like for them being the pebbles in this story.  It’s not about ‘special treatment’ it is just that by having an awareness of the way that having the brilliant Little Pebble with a Big Splash as a brother, Twinnie and Ex Pebble will always be in the ripples of the splash for good or for bad.  The ripples can’t be stopped, but hopefully there will be more times of riding them than swimming against them.

I was a 35 year old stone (or 35 stone some may say…) by the time Little Pebble with a Big Splash and Twinnie Pebble plopped in.  I’d lived in the #pebblelife pool for a long time and yes there was ripples and waves but there were long, happy, mill pond periods where nothing much happened.  I could poddle about just being a pebble then a little stone and so on.  Yet I find the ripples and waves hard at times.  For a 4 yr old (now 9) and a twinnie pebble to handle it makes them officially heroes because they haven’t known much different and have always been riding waves. We try so hard to maintain normal #pebblelife but well, what’s that anyway? Football, rugby, Doc McStuffins on the TV for Twinnie, iCarly and Bella and the Bulldogs for Ex Pebble and we keep the wheel on. I’m beyond proud of them, I just wish occasionally the world saw their little pebbly legs paddling like hell to ride the waves and threw them a ‘float’ sometimes to help them for a while.

2 thoughts on “A Pebblelife story – carers week countdown

  1. Beautifully written summary of life thereafter disability arrives, when our lives will never be the same… But we are stronger and more beautiful people for the enrichment they bring us.

    Our three older daughters and carers to Amélie have done us proud. The insight they now have has shaped them, one daughter about to qualify as a children’s nurse and commence her career at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. One daughter leaving for 4 years to America for a football scholarship and graphic design degree. One daughter off to secondary school September and will remain a young carer for now and never ever moans about her extended sibling role.

    It could have been so much worse with parents living in hospital for months on end. Teenagers with the potential due to a lack of parenting, to go off the rails (thank god for grandparents) and we are incredibly thankful and proud of what their sister Amélie has taught them and us as parents #love #kindness #caring #grounded #famly 💗

    1. Fabulous to hear of the success of all your family, your daughters really are inspirational for where i’d like my boys to be in terms of happiness as they get older x

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