Our daughter, Trudy, has just started a mainstream pre-school and I went to see their ‘Scottish Celebrations’ show today. I was not expecting to see the little pre-schoolers so was caught slightly off-guard.
I watched the curtains open to reveal the little darlings in all their tartan, and sounds of ‘aww’, ‘look!’. As I stood with my heart in my mouth, stretching to see Trudy, I couldn’t see her.
My immediate thoughts were, “they decided not to let her on stage”, “why would they do that?”, “that’s not inclusion”, “I will have to go and speak to them after this”, all in the space of about 2 minutes until I saw our daughter’s radiant smile at the edge of the crowd of pre-schoolers. She might not have been singing along, but she was certainly signing as it is a signing school. She was beaming as she copied her little friends singing and gesturing to ‘You cannae shove your granny off a bus!’.
She loved being there.
Despite my misgivings and fears around whether Trudy will be properly included in her new school, she was there, happy and proud to be part of a community and sharing experiences with her peers, all in the name of inclusion, whilst mama bear was stood, ready to react to anyone who said, “oh, look at that little Downs girl”!