I always knew I wanted to mark my 40th birthday by taking Rory on his first aeroplane journey. Jetting off for a week in the sun would be just what the doctor ordered! But the thought actually terrified me!
Luckily my sister, her partner and my two beautiful nieces were coming with us. They arranged it all. All I had to do was pack and get to the airport.
I was given some money for my involvement in a Breast Cancer Campaign the previous year and I kept it under lock and key to be able to afford this magical holiday for us. An all-inclusive week in Tenerife here we come!
Rory packed his hand luggage with toys that would hopefully keep him occupied for the 4 1/2 hour flight. I am not the greatest flier, but flying with family would keep me calm and all would go smoothly, ahem!!!
Alarms were set and at 5am we set off. Now I assumed Bristol airport would be one of the easiest Airports to get to! My phone Sat Nav took me down all of the single track back roads in the pitch black. I was petrified! Never again! By the time we met up with our holiday party, that horrendous journey was forgotten as the squeals of excited children took over.
Now, I haven’t flown for a number of years and I wasn’t as aware of the travelling restrictions as I should have been. All of mine and Rory’s bags were emptied and half of the belongings left behind! Oops! My sister was also held up negotiating how much food she could take on board for my youngest niece. We still thought we had plenty of time once we were through customs and passport control, to have some breakfast before we boarded the flight. We went to get bacon rolls for us all, and my sister queued for some water to take on board. “Last call for the Tenerife flight …….” came on the tannoy. None of us had heard any previous calls or seen any ‘boarding’ announcements. To say we ran was an understatement! And the gate couldn’t have been any further away. Luckily my sisters partner ran on ahead whilst my sister and I weaved past people with our pushchairs!
All we had to do now was get three adults, 2 pushchairs, 3 children and all of our hand luggage onto the crowded bus that would take us to the plane! You know that judgemental look people give you, well we had a lot of them looks!!!!
Finally, we all breathed a sigh of relief as we climbed the steps into the plane. But oh no, there were no seats together and
children cant be separated from a parent! Guess who are holding up the plane again??! Rory and I were the last to be seated. Requests were put out over the loud speaker to see if anyone was willing to move to two single seats. You could just see everyone bowing their heads!! Eventually kindness prevailed, everyone was seated and we were flying! Our cold bacon rolls devoured in one go!!!
As I knew he would be, Rory was amazing! I had given him a real digital camera and he spent a lot of the flight taking pictures of peoples heads and the contents of his bag! He loved eating as many haribo sweets as he wanted to help with the cabin pressure!
And finally, after what seemed like forever, we arrived in Tenerife!
The hotel had three swimming pools, kids club, entertainment and most importantly unlimited wine and San Miguel! Due to my treatment and surgeries, I hadn’t been able to take Rory swimming very much. The smallest swimming pool was heated and Rory just wanted to stay in it all day. He definitely missed being in the water. The times he came out, he lay on the ground as it was so warm! Everybody had huge inflatables for the pool. The first one he had was a crocodile. He loved it but poor crocodile deflated very rapidly. We were on holiday after all, so off we went to buy another inflatable. This time a giant crab! But the crab also came to an untimely demise! Poor Rory. My nieces dolphin lasted for the whole holiday. We decided that perhaps a smaller inflatable would be more suitable and luckily his third choice was an inflatable body board and that was just perfect! I don’t think I have ever been quite at peace as I was watching my son in the water, playing with his cousins, making new friends and just loving life.
I loved watching my little boy choose his outfits for the evening entertainment. He looked super handsome in his little shorts and funky shirts! Rory is a very sociable little boy and one evening he got chatting to an older boy of about 12. He was called Mickey. Now Mickey was one of the coolest, nicest children I have ever come across. He was obviously very popular and always had a bunch of children around him. He showed Rory some magic tricks and from that moment, Rory was obsessed with seeing Mickey. I had never seen him like this before. He would ask me every evening if we could go and find him. It was the sweetest thing because Mickey gave Rory his time and it really made his holiday. He still talks about Mickey today!
The one thing that I got upset about on holiday was the food situation. Rory has always had issues with food and eats very little. I had this crazy idea that by being ‘All Inclusive’ Rory could chose and be in total control of whatever he wanted to eat and all would be wonderful. Unfortunately I didn’t realise at first but having so much of a variety of foods, most of which were unfamiliar to him anyway, was far too overwhelming for my little boy. I’m ashamed to say that by the third day of hardly eating anything, I was ready to pour the very small bowl of spaghetti over his head. I was so worried about the heat and the lack of fluid and food he was consuming. It was so stressful. That was until I apologised to him about my behaviour over food and discussed it with him. Honestly, I know so much better! So we decided to go the local supermarket and see what foods we could get for him. We found familiar items like crackers and peanut butter! And every morning we would have a little walk to the bakery to buy the biggest chocolate croissant ever! He was having the calories I knew he needed, plus he would top up on anything from the restaurant when he fancied it. The day before we were due to go home, my niece was having a hotdog and Rory asked for one! “Yum, I like these” he said! ARGHHHH!
Watching my son dancing on stage with his cousins was just priceless to me. We both needed this holiday so much and to share it with my sister, my best friend and her family was just the best way to celebrate turning 40. I wasn’t even sure last year if I would even make it to my 40h birthday. This holiday was much more than I expected. Rory and I will always remember our first holiday in an aeroplane together and have incredible memories. It has given me the confidence to know I can take him by myself in future and I cant wait!