2 Women from Bristol share a special bond, all thanks to their children.
So, it was 14 years ago when I first met a beautiful teenager (13 yrs) Olivia Watkins for the first time in my classroom at the specialist school I work in. Our then Deputy Head was her respite Carer & she came in dropped of by her Mum Lynne to go out with her.
Over the years I kept up to date with Olivia’s exciting life, going off to Foxes College in Minehead, graduating with honours, moving into her own flat back in Bristol gaining paid employment & generally leading a fulfilling life.
Her mum Lynne started working at my school & we exchange news on our children & their active lives.
Olivia soon returned to the youth club where Nino now went.
Progressively each week, it was becoming obvious Nino and Olivia we’re becoming firm friends.
We went out over Xmas to the theatre & for meals etc.
All this time Lynne and I we’re also becoming close at work & realising how alike we were in our beliefs, attitudes towards disability & how we both knew that Nino and Olivia would both succeed in whatever they wanted to do and we would support them above anything else.
Then on Valentine’s Day 5 yrs ago Nino asked Olivia to be his girlfriend. He’s a toy boy mind, she’s 7 yrs older than him!
And that was that…..Lynne and I chaperone every date (they both have medical issues and need support) and we have the time of our lives.
The friendship that has grown between a Lynne and I is beyond special.
We laugh, we cry, we hope, we dream and all because of our amazing children and the love that has blossomed for them.
We both know they are together for life now & that means so are we.
I for one am so, so grateful for that…Lynne is a truly beautiful, amazing, clever, generous, open, honest friend and I love our ‘dates’ out.
(Not too sure how she feel about being stuck with me though!!)
Olivia’s whole family are absolutely amazing too, supporting Nino & Olivia on their journey of love & life.
It’s been so hard only seeing Lynne & Olivia on video call the last 3 months, in fact heartbreaking really.
I miss our fun, laughter filled, teasing, supportive & mood lifting times together.
But I’m hopeful it will all come back soon & we can take the world by storm again & carry on loving our lives & our friendship.
Having a child with Down Syndrome enables parents/carers to develop the most strongly bonded friendships with compassion, understanding and a kindred spirit….there’s nothing like it, pure magic & true love xx💙💛