I dug out an old hoody today, one that I was given when I volunteered at the Paralympic Games.
Back in summer 2012 I danced at the opening ceremony of the Olympics. One of the best experiences of my Dance life and certainly the biggest ever audience!
After we had completed a summer of rehearsals and of course the huge opening ceremony to London hosting the games, several of us decided to go along and become audience leaders at the Paralympics, they were asking for more people so we thought we would give it a go.
The opening ceremony was beautiful and performers and athletes alike wowed me with their skill and determination despite their disabilities and challenges. A truly humbling experience. Being out in the crowd was just so fun, enjoying the highs of the ceremony and then standing feeling the goosebumps on your body in those quiet, breathtaking moments during the performance.
I had no idea at the time how significant these moments would be. How I now look back on them with such fondness and on occasion with a tear in my eye.
At that exact time, outside of the work I was doing at the stadium and of course in my day job at Sparkle, was the start of Charlie’s diagnosis of Autism. At two years old (that same summer) Charlie was being referred to a number of specialists and our journey of appointment after appointment, discussion after discussion started to lead to diagnosis of what we now refer to in our house as his special mind; Charlie’s autism.
I look back and remember how tough things were back then, entering a world I knew so little about, completely overwhelmed and at times so scared of what was to come. A serious lack of support, understanding, and generally fighting for everything, at times not knowing which way to turn.
This photo of Charlie bear takes me back to his 2 year check and makes me smile so much. It’s funny saying that as at the time it made me sweat not smile! The health visitor as part of her reems of questions about his development asked “Does he have any sense of danger?” To which I replied hesistating “Er……… not really….” turning to see him do something just like this and try to open the window!
Who knew back then in 2012 that now all we’ve learned along the way, the inspiration I’ve taken from so many people and events would lead me to doing the work I do, and about to embark on a whole new field of work in movement therapy.
That boy has taught me more than he will ever know….. I love you bear xxxxx