Reasons to be cheerful 31.3.16

I had a grumpy McGrumpy intro to this week's reasons to be cheerful, but I decided not to publish it here. It would jar too much with all the happy stuff I have to report this week...

Cherishing all the children and the 1916 centenary commemorations

We were late to the party, and it was only in the last week that I heard about the big Dublin Parade for the centenary commemorations of the 1916 Rising. I should have planned in advance, but I was a wee bit busy with other things, and the morning did not go quite to plan.

Despite that, Smiley had a great time soaking up the atmosphere, and she made it her mission to spread joy and happiness on the streets of Dublin. But we couldn't see anything or get anywhere near the disabled viewing spots, there were barriers to cars and people in every direction. So we gave up and went for coffee instead. Only to find out later from the TV coverage that many people with disabilities were allowed to watch from in front of the barriers. But no-one suggested that to us. It was all a bit frustrating.

The big night out and other reasons to be cheerful

I was like a young wan going to her first disco. The preparations started the week before with the purchase of a new 'top' (black, Dunnes Stores, €20) and the day before I washed my hair, a bigger job than it sounds...

The less you go out, the harder it gets, and I'm totally out of practice. Where on earth is that party girl I used to be?

Why I didn't watch The A Word

It was all over my twitter and Facebook feeds. The A Word, a new series about a family whose young son is diagnosed with autism. Most of the comments I saw were positive, with parents relating to the drama and feeling emotional as they remembered going through all the same things.

But that's one of the main reasons I didn't want to watch it.

Reasons to be cheerful 18.3.16

So the Easter school holidays have begun, and the days are a bit less stressful. Smiley's adult programme continues, so I'm still up at stupid o'clock, but the pressure to get my son to school is gone, and I'm hoping to be able to organise some outings for the two of us. Especially as the sun appears to be shining and all is calm.

But first there was St Patrick's Day. Smiley was at home, except we weren't at home, as she was invited to take part in a local parade, once again. I *may* have shared most of the photos already, but just in case you missed them, here she is again, showing just what a great day she had.

The secret to caring

They sat in a row in the shopping centre, watching the passersby. They were quiet and good. They were adults sitting in wheelchairs. A carer stood behind them looking at her phone. I don't know how long they were there. Perhaps it was only a few minutes, but it bothered me. Especially when I thought about my daughter's future.

There was a sense of disinterest from the carer, and passing shoppers either stared or averted their eyes. I smiled at them, but didn't know what else to do.

A touch of autism and some reasons to be cheerful

Autism nearly broke me this week. Not my son's behaviour, but the response of the world to it, especially the education system. By Thursday evening I was doubting my judgement, my parenting, and the evidence of my own eyes. Thank you to all the friends on Facebook and Twitter who put me straight and their ongoing help is my first reason to be cheerful this week.

If no-one wishes you Happy Mother's Day

Of course it should be mother's day every day of the year. After all we mothers are never off duty. We never stop thinking about our children, or doing things for them, whether they're 5 or 25 (or even 55).  For most of us, Mothering Sunday is a day of appreciation. There will be breakfast in bed, gifts and cards, extra cuddles and kisses. And lots of lots of love.

The things we do

It's dark and quiet. The usual for 5am on a Saturday morning. I'm supposed to sleep in a little later than this at the weekend. But not today. I peer around the curtains. No sign of yesterday's snow returning. Good. I have an early morning road trip to organise. First coffee, shower, clothes, war paint and I'm ready to prise reluctant offspring apart from their duvets.

The inky blue skies begin to pale as we shiver our way out to the car and I tie the wheelchair down with icy fingers.