Beta Teacher writes about what it means to be different for children today
"Nigel is playing ‘kitchens’ with some of the girls next to the oil tank in the school playground. You keep your eyes trained to the ground as you walk past with your regular friends, for fear of his trying to say hello; and for deeper fears of having to read the disappointment in his face, and he the shame in yours. You will never let any of your friends know that you have spent time in Nigel’s house.
You are too young to know that, for Nigel, and for Michael, the dye has been cast. At some point before they had ever been born, even conceived; their wiring has been pre-planned, re-cast, to create something different, something that will help shape the world and the experience of being human into a better, more wonderful thing.
Here and now, you are too young to know about prejudice, or resilience, or defeat. Or to know that sometimes you get sad purely because you are different too – as, indeed, does everyone."
And Other Idiots writes a touching letter to her sister as she prepares for her due date
It won’t be long now, until the world tilts and never returns upright for you again, and a person, a wonder, a baby! emerges from the depths you.
I’m so torn between wanting to tell you everything and everything about how it was for me, but also so so aware that none of that matters. What will happen will be for you, and you only."
Joseph and His Amazing Coloured Spectrum Coat shares the importance of a recent encounter at the park for her autistic son
"I saw you today, but you didn’t see me.
My son, was attempting to get on the merry-go-round/spinner that you were all playing on but it was going too fast for him. He waited patiently at the side whilst trying to decide whether to approach. He doesn’t have the confidence you have, neither does he have the physical ability to enable him to jump on whilst it was spinning so fast."
"Mud, dinosaurs, and sport. Dolls, unicorns, and butterflies. Pink and sparkly, blue or bold. Bravery or beauty. I know for a fact that you’ve already associated each of those statements with a gender.
Social media is once again awash with commentary surrounding Clarks shoes and they’re pathetically old-fashioned stereotyping. Dolly Babe shoes for girls and Leader for boys – I mean really?!?! Will the names of these shoes change the overall life prospects of youngsters? No. Do they represent a wider problem about how girls and boys are pigeon holed from a very early age? Yes."
Writing for Birth Trauma Awareness Week, Ghostwriter Mummy describes her experience and explains why new mothers need better support
"My son was ripped from my body in a blur of panic and white hot fear. He didn't cry, I'm told. His lip was cut in the hurry to bring him into the world; a common occurrence, I'm told. He was resuscitated, life forced into his lungs before his screams filled the room, I'm told. And while my baby boy was making his grand arrival into the world, I was sleeping. Finally rid of the pain, fear and terror. Finally resting, blissfully unaware that I was a mother once more. Finally quiet, and alone once more.
It wasn't the entrance into the world that I had envisaged for my second born. Birth was supposed to be joyous. Birth was supposed to be happy. Birth was supposed to be amazing, exhilarating and wondrous! Not for me. I was sleeping as he was born. I was sleeping, and I didn’t want to wake up."