I am more than just a smidgen excited to be sitting writing this blog post next to a cardboard box brimming with colourful, shiny, inviting packs of cards. The cards are not part of a game. There's no element of snap, no quiz questions. There is no competition or race against time.
|The Fink conversation cards are bright and inviting|
No, these cards are conversation starters, each one containing a carefully written question from a Mum who knows exactly how it feels to live through the bewildering diagnosis of Down's syndrome. A Mum who knows how your head spins with questions and your heart aches with uncertainty. I Mum who looks back and wishes she had been able to see past the symptoms and predications that abounded at that time, to see her beautiful and vulnerable daughter for exactly that, a unique individual first and foremost. This mum is of course me and the cards I have written are proudly awaiting their new homes, ready to be shipped from my front room.
The Fink cards are the brainchild of Lisa Warner. She has published almost a hundred titles over many years, some packs for family chat, and others on more difficult topics like bereavement and depression. The concept is simple: questions that get people talking, questions that everyone can answer, questions that make us dig deeper, explore further and look at situations anew.
When she asked me if I would write a set for her, I was so excited about their potential power that I had the first draft complete in one night. I simply sat and tapped into every emotion I had felt as a new parent, and posed questions that now come from my place of knowing, of hindsight and learning on the job. The questions cover life and relationships, diagnosis and health, your baby and support.
Hayley Goleniowska talks about welcoming your new baby into your family
in this Fink video.
As I look at the little packs, written from the heart and with love, I wonder where they will end up. I hope some with live with Down's syndrome support groups, others will find a place in the bags of health visitors, portage workers and midwives, some will end up on the coffee tables of new families, one card at a time might be pulled out over dinner, drawing families closer to each other and their babies.
|The Fink cards prompt conversation between families in support group settings|
I hope too that the cards will form a part of the training of medical professionals, allowing them to reassess the way they view the condition. They could make such a difference to the support given by sonographers and consultants for example.
For now though, they sit nearby, waiting eagerly to flee the nest, and I have that nervous excitement in the pit of my stomach, knowing that what we have produced is important, and waiting to hear tales from where they end up settling, like little postcards from the front line.
So if you or someone you know might find incorporating these cards into their lives invaluable, please point them in the right direction. They are available via Fink Cards or on Amazon, priced £14.99.