The Power of the Humble Blogette: an example
I never knew when I started poring my simple musings into my Mac that it would mean strangers coming up and shaking my hand. Well that's exactly what happened this weekend.
We had popped into town for summer sandals.
This is a tricky job at the best of times.
The combination of Saturday bustle, busy pavements, a child who hates being measured but loves to show off and leap around the shoe shop shouting 'chase me', a daughter with very distinct fashion sense hellbent on black patent rather than strappy summer footwear, the constant wrangles over walking properly, holding hands to cross roads, the mantras we repeat to encourage road safety, the swinging her along between us to cover the few hundred yards back to the car when she has given up walking, my refusal to use a buggy if its only for my convenience, little shops that don't stock the size you need, lack of choice under one roof, 2 children to find shoes for in one trip....
Anyway, it was definitely a 2 man job and it took all our patience and might, some jelly sweets and the promise of a playing of Mary Poppins to deal with it with a jolly smile on our faces.
With 2 pairs of identical sandals purchased from shops at opposite ends of town in the bag, it was time for sustenance.
We stopped and flopped in a hearty healthfood cafe and ordered jacket spuds and tea to boost our spirits. The girls asked if they could sit alone. What a super idea we thought. They could feel independent and grown up sitting at a table right next to us.
As it happened the plan worked beautifully. They played with a few toys provided. Natty sat still, didn't get down from the table once and ate her simple lunch which Mia had cut up for her and they chatted together easily without interruptions from the parents. They felt very proud of themselves.
I noticed people looking. Perhaps they thought we were bad parents for banishing our children like this? Not wanting to sit together.
As we got up to leave a lady and her mother came over. They just had to tell us what beautifully behaved children we had and how touched they were by their closeness, how amazed they were by Mia's gentle helping way with her younger sister. They left by saying we must be very good parents.
Wow, what a compliment!
Then, as we paid and donned our coats, the shoe shopping stress a distant uncomfortable memory, the chef of the establishment came out from the kitchen with his wife. This was a couple of a certain age, who clearly work all the hours they can to run a successful eatery. I didn't have them down as blog readers.
The man leant forward and shook our hands. "I follow you on Twitter" he said. "What you do is amazing. I can tell it takes a lot of time." "What you do for others as a family is brilliant."
And there you have it. You never know who is reading your words and the effect it is having on them when you blog your heart out. Did this couple have any connection to Down's Syndrome? They didn't mention it if they did. And that has always been my aim. To gently change perceptions of the condition from within hearts, without people even realising that I am doing it. Not preaching to the converted, but drawing in those who are not.
If you enjoyed this post you might like to read Downs Side Up: A Gentle Mummy Activist