Most people enjoy a bit of downtime when it's a bank holiday, not so in our case. Over time, I could virtually guarantee that William would have an alternative game plan every time there was a holiday or event planned. There would be some urgent work to do or just a bit of hard slog in the fields, which needed both Connor and I to attend. William seemed to revel in the attention of us standing waiting for his following command, be that with sheep shearing, lamb ringing and tagging or haymaking. If it wasn't one of these, he had several hundred others up to his sleeve. So many times, I have had to say to friends that we can't make the BBQ or the trip to the beach with the other Mums and children because there were chores to be done.
I realise I can't undo these things and try not to beat myself up that I didn't just down tools and go. At the time, I believed I was a good wife, helping my husband with farm duties. Now I realise these were all arranged to suit William's timetable. No jobs needed doing if William wanted to go off for the day. Unfortunately, he rarely wanted to go off for the day with Connor and me but would leave a list of things that we needed to get done while he was gone.
Writing this now, I wonder how I didn't see what was going on. However, it was not so easy; I was in the middle of any reprisals for not getting the chores done. When there was a lot to do, I only focused a little way up the road and didn't take the big picture view.
Nevertheless, I would make holiday days as special as I could for my son. I would arrange for him to have friends visit so that they could play around the farm while I got the chores done. The blessing in disguise was that while William was 'off' for the day, Connor and I could relax and be ourselves for a while, and that was fun.
Now that I am free and away from the old life, I really enjoy planning holiday fun. Even if it is only a day away doing an activity. Pandemics have stalled some of the plans for get togethers with Connor and the family, but we do virtual planning and visit some exotic places together over the internet. These new and happy times are gradually helping me let go of the more painful memories.