I just tossed and turned; I couldn't get comfortable and ended up listening to my MP3 player until sleep was possible.
Hayley however slept like a log. In fact Gordon heard her get up at 5.45am but she went straight back to bed and sleep. I had to wake her at 6.30am so that we could have breakfast and leave home in time for our 9 o'clock arrival.
She was still sleepy as we drove to pick up her sister in law, and actually drifted off as we continued on to Dilston. No excited chatter or girly giggling. No singing or messing about in the back. Just a nodding sleepyhead, the excitement of the last few weeks catching up with her.
On arrival at the college's car park, however, she sprang in to life. Noticing other students waiting patiently in their parents cars she couldn't wait to get out and about to meet her new friends. The next hour saw us checking off items and paperwork required by the college. The room was buzzing with noise as other families did the same with their Personal tutors and Key workers. Tedious as it was the handing over of care for your child is such a momentous event that I needed to know that I had covered every aspect of Hayley's needs to the people who were going to be there when I couldn't be.
After photo's, talking to Medical staff and generally finding out more about the staff it was time to see Hayley's accommodation - her home for the next academic year. Dilston is set in beautiful grounds in the Northumbrian countryside. Once a Maternity hospital it now houses students with a learning disability, some residential and others on a daily basis. It is truly a wonderful place and offers a chance for individuals to experience life skills and work based opportunities.
After a tour of the "campus" it was time to say goodbye. It was a moment I had been dreading. Having gone through this scenario many times in my head, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel. I wasn't sure how Hayley was going to react either. I needn't have worried. It was lunchtime and the thought of food took Hayley's mind off the impending farewells. After hugs and kisses she cheerfully waved us off eager to get to the Servery!
So that's it. She will be home in seven weeks time for half term. I can't help wondering if she will be different next time I see her.