It is the October holidays and I have realised something about Trudy. She has a ticket to be trouble!
I have often written about visible versus invisible disability. Trudy wears her 47th chromosome on her face, which means that everyone knows she has Down’s Syndrome. Children are much better at dealing with this than adults are. Children often stop, take one look at Trudy and then seem to inherently understand that they need to give way to her. This is a powerful tool and one which I am pretty sure Trudy uses to her advantage!
I was watching her on a set of rides at our local shopping mall – we are mostly on the farm, so this was an attempt to introduce our children to the realities of modern life. She bounced from one ride to another, unaware that you could pay for them (the great parental deception) and sat in helicopters, submarines, cars, you name it. She jumped into every one, whether there was a child already there or not, popping up like a Jack in the box, causing the children in them to either stand firm or move slowly away and try another one. Very few stood firm.
Then I realised, I realised that Trudy had the power to part other children, to move them out of her way like skittles. She is a force of nature, all impulse, determined to reach her destination which at this point was the submarine on repeat.
Thankfully, she doesn’t push or shove (or I would have intervened) but she just appears with her great confidence and presence, her ‘I don’t care what you think of me’ attitude, and that seems to move people out of her way.
I wondered how this manifests itself at school, does she jump queues or skip lines? They tell us that she can wait, and that she understands. Patrick and her other little friends find her amusing, the way she can do all the things they want to do and somehow not get into trouble for it.
We will have to keep an eye on this, and that confidence will have to be tamed at some point but for now this 6-year-old is a ‘tackle her at your peril’ sort of girl. Long may this freedom last, the freedom to be who you want to be without judgement or someone telling her what she can and can’t do.
Our little wildling at the foot of the system.