Recently, I was lucky to enjoy a rare girl’s weekend away for a family birthday celebration, a couple of days of freedom! The venue was an over-18s which was a new experience for me – it felt strange not to have children around, but an experience I was happy to embrace.
After a huge amount of organisation to ensure things ran smoothly in my absence, and having stayed at home to help with the (always challenging) bedtime routine, I missed dinner and arrived part way through the evening entertainment. After grabbing a glass of wine, I immediately noted that the majority of guests were of pensionable age and proceeded to have a good giggle about being the ‘youngsters’ in the room. However, there was one notable exception to the sea of grey hair, which I picked up on over the course of the evening – there was a much higher than usual representation of adults with disabilities.
The Fabulous Dancing Lady
By 11PM the disco had started and our group was up on our feet, making the most of the opportunity to dance. We were beaten to the dance floor by only one individual – a beautiful lady, younger than us, who had no inhibitions and was literally having a ball, strutting her stuff. I suddenly had a ‘flash forward’ into a possible future life for GG – there were so many similarities despite the difference in age. Over the two days, this lovely lady became our dancing companion. There is no doubt that we all let our hair down more than usual, thanks to her fabulous ‘give it your all’ approach to dancing. I haven’t laughed so much in years!
I also spent some time observing her mum. A tired but happy looking elegant lady who was never far away, but obviously comfortable enough to sit and relax while her daughter was having fun. I also noted the regular prompts to have a drink, I saw at dinner the support needed to choose and order a meal, the accompanied trips to the loo and I watched as Mum spotted the signs of tiredness, and gently encouraged her daughter to call it a night. I saw the constant ‘watching eye’ to ensure her daughter was safe and not disrupting other guests but most of all, I saw a mother and daughter enjoying a weekend away together.
A positive picture of the future
I observed all of this and I didn’t feel sad or worried – I felt hope for a future that maybe ours. A future in which there will be leisure opportunities, weekend breaks, dancing, laughter and acceptance into a community. A safe place to go with a grown-up GG which is otherwise difficult to imagine (outside of specialist provision). I have always feared thinking about the future but now, I am more positive. I hope that we will be equally as happy as my lovely dancing partner and her mum.