It only takes a day or so back in work before the holidays dreamt of all year become a distant memory. We’ve had a wonderful time visiting beautiful Cornwall, bringing back with us some cherished memories of days out exploring and splashing about in the sea. We hired a lovely little cottage where we stayed with family, ‘Aunty Ruth and Uncle Daniel’. I love the time a holiday gives you to reflect and unwind but also that valuable (well mostly valuable!) time you get being around the kids.
We couldn’t travel all the way to Cornwall and miss a chance to meet up with Hayley (Downs Side Up). We have met twice before at organised events and our children get on so well. Hayley, Bob, Mia and Natty welcomed us to their home and we adults enjoyed having time to chat openly with one another whilst the kids occupied themselves – previous meets have been a bit hectic so this was the first time we had an opportunity to relax. We talked about all sorts, laughed a lot and shared some very personal experiences of the ups and downs of our DS journeys so far. Natty and Rosie spent some time playing shops, or rather Natty played shops whilst Rosie played throw the shopping over her shoulder! Natty is a joy to be around and her speech is superb – very inspirational for Karen and I to see the possibilities for Rosie. We know every child is different and will reach goals at different times, some will achieve things others won’t – same as their peers, however Natty is a true example of how a families love, care and belief can trample over those initial fears and so called obstacles we’re led to believe are true in the early days of a Down’s syndrome diagnosis. I came away from that day with such positive feelings for Rosie, oh and a recommendation for Britain’s best chippy too! Thank you to ‘Family Down’s Side Up’ for a wonderful start to our holiday.
We treated ourselves to that chippy tea one evening and needless to say the fish and chips were amazing but what struck me more was just how at ease I felt in there. We sat in the restaurant area packed full of people of all ages, those that looked at Rosie were clearly doing so because she was being ever so cute, laughing and babbling away and not because she ‘looked different’, it was genuine cooing from the public and the staff alike. As Rosie is still relatively young and unable to walk she is often in public in a pushchair, I guess making her less visible than if she was running about. As a result of this I’m still learning to grow my thick skin and get a bit anxious about the inquisitive sometimes baffled looking ‘stares’ because up to now they have been fairly few and far between. Don’t get me wrong I’m extremely proud of Rosie and wouldn’t ever hide her away, I guess that’s evident in this very public blog but I’m also not immune to feeling that pain now and then from those that stare – nobody likes to be gawped at no matter how thick skinned they are. Well this particular moment felt great, there she was on full display for all to see and not a moments awkwardness. Cornwall made us feel extremely welcome the whole time and I couldn’t help but smile to myself as I felt another little moment of ‘up yours’ flying in the direction of a certain ‘anti disabled’ (former) councillor who claimed to represent the good people of Cornwall.