If ...

If things were different, I'd be sat at home now, half way down a bottle of wine waiting for my takeaway to arrive. A curry, I imagine. With a nice peshwari naan. Mr. M and I would've chosen a film from the planner to watch and I'd be looking forward to a well deserved week off work. I'd be shattered; there's something about that last week before you break up for a school holiday where you feel like you've given every ounce of your energy and it takes all your strength to get to Friday; and I'd have a fun week ahead planned with th aim of getting all my marking and planning done on the first weekend. Invariably by this time next week I'd be stressing about all the planning and marking I still had to do!

But life isn't like that any more. Today, for me, isn't the first Friday of the half term holiday. Next week won't vary much from this week or from the week after. Except in that hopefully we won't still be in hospital and there'll be a few less therapy appointments.

Instead of my wine, I have a cup of weak tea, kindly brought by one of the nurses. The films of choice on a children's ward are Bee movie (I swear they've had that one on for over a year now) or Kung Fu Panda. No thanks. And a nice takeaway? Does another bag of crisps count?

So this Friday night is spent, like many before and many after will be, in the children's ward of the local hospital. H has been having breathing difficulties and we had reached a point that we couldn't manage them any longer at home, so here we are. Last night was dreadful, I think I had less than an hour and a half of sleep. H seems much improved this evening though so I am hoping for a better might. Just in case though, Mr M did the early evening shift here, so I could get a couple of hours sleep at home. And a shower! But as I returned, listening to the Friday night 'tunes' on the radio, gearing people up for their night on the town, putting them in the party spirit I thought how different my life was from the Friday nights spent in the pub and the Saturday morning hangovers. Of course much of that changed when Cheeky came along but Little H has changed my life again, beyond recognition.

If ... I thought... If H was different, if H was, well, normal ....

And I thought about putting my feet up after a hard week at work, the wine, the take away, the week ahead meeting friends and their children in the afternoons, nights out with mates and more wine! Generally after half term, I'd be even more tired returning to work after a busy week of catching up with the people I didn't see the previous 6 weeks. And I'd have a list of jobs to get done, mountains of housework which had fallen by the wayside because I'd be too tired to do it after work.

I stress and moan about not seeing my mates any more. But I didn't see them that often before. It was just that work was the reason then and I always had half term to squeeze them in. Now I make more of an effort to see them when I can, when H is healthy, rather than timetabling it every 6 weeks.

And I'd feel guilty about all the time I spent at work, with Cheeky and H in someone elses care, while I looked after other people's kids. I'd want to cram as many fun activities into the week off as I could, to make up for feeling guilty for all the time I wasn't there.

So maybe, I'm not so badly off after all. I get to spend time at home with my beautiful boys. My house still isn't tidy, there is always a mountain of washing to be done, but I realise it's not important. None of it is. what's important is my boys and I are together and we have fun, lots of fun.