I was at the hospital today. My third daughter got her little hand caught in our van door a couple of weeks ago. It was a big one, bone fractured in three places. But despite being known to scream bloody murder about the most minor events. Despite turning green and then white and feeling sick she quietly sobbed.

At the time we thought it was just badly bruised after the wiggle finger and move wrist test. Truthfully, not really wanting to drag newly arrived friend from airport…..

She seemed fine, plus 4 kids in rush hour traffic to wait in hospital for hours at dinnertime……Well.

So she had obligatory sweets and sugary drink for the shock. She perked up, was laughing even and so off home we went.

A dose of cal pol and she slept well it wasn’t till the morning when she awoke tear-full with a hand the size builders hand.. God did I feel bad!

So today, a couple of hours out of school to do another X Ray plus change her slightly grey cast and bandage. In truth, although I wish the circumstances different I enjoy these snippets of “one on one “ time. As a mum of a large family there is just never enough of you to spread round. Like reaching the end of the butter. No matter how hard you try you are just spread too thinly.

After our X ray we sat waiting in the waiting room it wasn’t busy. Plastic chairs, posters on the wall some still shouting “Covid” the requisite gaudy coloured IKEA table and chairs with tin of colouring pencils. In metal frames pictures had been painted by children to cheer you up. We sat in silence only the hum of air conditions and machines to be heard. People sat, looked at their phones or just like me used the time to think

A lady came in she smiled “Hello” . She was of a small build, with a kind face. She was pushing a boy around Id say 15 yrs old. He was very disabled, and a big lad, his head turned to the side, his eyes wild, his limbs twisted and hands banging the side of his chair. The chair was huge and with difficulty she maneuvered it so she wasn’t in the way and sat down.

Almost immediately as she sat down he started shouting. Loud and abrupt they were like gunshots in the silence of the waiting room. They startled all of us. She immediately tried to sooth him, calm him down. With an apologetic glance at us she spoke in hushed whispers and his face turned from distress to peace. She stroked his face gently and his body exhaled.. Like a snake charmer and a cobra he relaxed and looked round with a toothy smile.

I looked at this woman. Braver and stronger and more inspiring than any kardasian this lady who every day puts her armor on for her boy. For who everyday is a uphill struggle. And I smiled and I hope that despite my mask it lit up my eyes and told her how wonderful I thought she was.

When my children were younger a very good friend of mine had a child who had special needs. I love my friend and loved her daughter so we just hung out almost everyday. Her daughter although her condition restricted her just fitted in with the gang. The kids didn’t seem to even notice it until one day. My daughter asked “Why doesn’t she speak?”

I sat her down and explained that we are all different. Big, small, different colour’s some with two legs some with one and some with none.

She looked at me wide eyed “Really?” “Yes,” I nodded “Really”

“No legs Mummy thats so cool!”

And I said our friend is different and wouldn’t it be a boring world if we were all the same? She nodded solemnly and resumed her game.

And so as we drove home after a long boring wait. We chatted and I mentioned the lady and the boy. “Yes,” said my 9 year old. “He was abit loud Mummy but it was ok as his Mum was very kind and calmed him down”.

If I can teach my children to be good, kind people who understand differences and don’t condemn them. Who smile and reassure and go out of there way to make everyone feel comfortable.

Then I know, Ive done a good job.

Thank you for reading xx

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