I spent the weekend with my five children at Hopton Holiday Village, as originally booked by Sarah before she passed away.

Booking it was part of her attempt at giving herself things to look forward to, and she was looking forward to it because although not far from home, our little family getaways at nearby Haven sites always proved to be a lot of fun for the children – and with us, happy children always meant happy parents.

It was definitely not the same without her beside me, she was sorely missed not just me but the kids too. I realised this weekend that there’s so much I can’t do alone. I wasn’t able to take any of the kids swimming for example which is something the girls in particular love to do, because I had nobody there to watch the other three.

We also found ourselves returning to our caravan earlier than we usually would much to the dismay of the older four, because Logan was over-tired. Before either myself or Sarah would have stayed out with the older kids while the other took Logan back and put him to bed. It highlighted the fact that we were a team, and always worked together to give our children the best we could offer. We’re all missing out on so much without her here, but most of all we’re just missing out on her.

We arrived on Friday at around 5pm, checked in, dumped our stuff in the caravan then headed straight to the restaurant to eat before the kids got too hungry. After that we went straight to the showbar as time was already getting on and the children’s entertainment had already begun. I didn’t know what to expect in terms of numbers of people, given the fact it’s March, but the place was more than half full which surprised me a little. It was nice – not too busy, but enough people to give the place a fun atmosphere and the kids enjoyed the shows.

Before heading back to the caravan we spent some time in the arcades, but before long Logan started to give up for the night so we took him back so he could go to sleep. The rest of us hid away in the main bedroom for a bit, kids on their tablets, before having a fairly early night. Rhianna’s bedtime anxieties continued and she ended up sleeping in the big bed with me, with Lacey being left surprisingly happy about having a room all to herself. The boys shared a room.

We spent the rest of the weekend walking around the site, playing on parks, gaming in the arcades and again watching the nightly children’s entertainment shows. There’s no doubt that we all felt the absence of Sarah, but the kids managed to have some fun and it was nice for me to just have a change of scenery for a couple of days.

Here’s a video of our weekend.

March 2017 Video

This wasn’t our first time at Hopton Holiday Village. We had visited as recently as September 2016, with Sarah joining the rest of us on that occasion too. The kids enjoyed it so much more with Mummy around.

She was feeling reasonably well in between her treatment and had booked the weekend at short notice to give us all, and in particular herself something to look forward to. Arranging things for us to do together went a long way to keeping her spirits up.

Here’s a video from that short break in September.

September 2016 Video

While we were away, Sarah’s parents, brother and sister-in-law were slaving away at our house redecorating our kitchen. Big thanks to all of them for that and their continued support, it’s all very much appreciated.

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Author: Stuart Wright

I'm a 34 year old widowed father of five young children, and these are my experiences of 'Being Daddy'.

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