Thursday, 16 June 2016


So...I read a post on FB this morning as I sat, drinking my flat white(oh, I am so trendy)(clearly I am not by dint of using the very word 'trendy'). I was in a cafe of a well known coffee chain whose name rhymes with hosta. It made me cry. No, not the flat white nor the fact that I was in a coffee chain rather than a dinky independent coffee house, but the FB post. It was a piece written by the parent of a child with Downs Syndrome. I am going to assume for ease of writing that the parent was the mother although it could just have easily been the father...I try not to be parentist. The mother was writing about all the staring and whispering that goes on when one is out and about with one's child(however young or old) who has learning difficulties or Other abilities. Sometimes, as a parent you can cope with it and sometimes it is just too hard. For this particular parent on this particular day, she wasn't coping well with it as she sat in a cafe, trying not to listen to the whispers and comments coming from a nearby table. As she sat there, another figure approached her. Her immediate thought was,'Oh no..what now??'. The stranger proceeded to congratulate her on the wonderful job she was doing and how delightful the child was and how proud she should be of her beautiful, precious, lovely child. This comment, from a complete stranger. left the mother in tears. Me too. These positive comments are like the proverbial 'hen's teeth' when parenting an extraordinary person with Other abilities. The whispers, asides and grimaces that we have faced are too numerous to count. One develops a thick skin but sometimes that skin wears thin..we are only human after all!! It doesn't cost anything to be positive and can be worth immeasurably more to the person to whom you are saying it.
So, sniffling and snorting, I finished my flat white and sauntered home...
The End