Not long ago, a man is in a power wheel chair going along the footpath and you see him struggling with a branch fallen from a tree. He cannot go around the fallen branch and so he struggles. It is a busy road and not one car takes a moment to stop and ask if he needed help. Maybe he was fine and wanted to fix it himself but just maybe he needed a stranger to stop and ask the simple question of whether he needed help. Are we ignoring our community too much because of fear and conflict.
Today, we enrolled Faith in swimming lessons. We were invited to a private class by another mum and eventually the teacher was open to the idea. It would give Faith the opportunity to socialize, watch how other kids learn and be in a group with two other little girls. All important concepts to learn.
Eagerly Faith points to her floral pink swimmers asking if it is time yet. The indoor pool area is humid and on entering I feel the need to swim to relieve the heat. Faith points at the pool and starts asking to go in. The water is cool and refreshing. There are parents sitting by the waters edge with their little ones splashing around. Faith was so eager to enter the water but now she is overtaken with shyness of her surroundings and new people. The class is made up of Faith and two little girls it is full of fun - singing, learning and loads of splashing. Faith mainly observes the lights, the balls, the boards and the kids. She takes an interest in one of the little girls hair clips. She points at them and smiles. Afterwards as we float around relaxing before we force ourselves out of the water I peer at Faith and her blue eyes are bright, alert and happy. What a good note to end on. We head out of the water.
On leaving we are discussing the next class with the office staff and we find out that Faith is only able to attend this terms lessons as it is a "private class" and the class it capped at two. It is a council run facility to benefit the community. I explain that the other two mums are happy to have her and the teacher seems happy. But no that is not how they work. Two ladies stand on the other side of desk friendly but not resolving anything. Other classes have four in them but because it is listed as a private class there seems to be no avenue around it. I am torn. I try and resolve the issues but they don't seem interested or is it unable? I explain that we are not looking for extra assistance but just for Faith to be in the class. We are paying customers and still they don't seem interested. Yes, I could just take Faith to the pool but it is the group session that is beneficial and being part of a group. Seeing other kids and how they do things. She just wants to be included and do something normal. Having one on one classes have their use but this is to help her learn in other ways too. I explain this. At first, I was angry but then the disappointment that yet again it isn't easy and everything feels like a battle.
But what if I didn't do anything all the time? I would just be a doormat and I wouldn't be happy. But it is also important to pick the battles and choose them for the right reasons. Peace is the best choice sometimes. I know I have to be completely happy with my decision as if I am not I will have that horrible feeling in the pit of stomach telling me I did the wrong thing or was it something I ate?
So I took a step back and thought about why I wanted Faith to have these swimming lessons and what she would achieve in them. I just have to choose a reasoned and calm approach. I might not always get my way but I do my best for Faith and hope others can see that too. It can be challenging choosing your battles.