It’s so easy to do the safe thing when you care for a severely disabled child or adult, to stick to what you know.
Anything new or strange means lots of planning and anxiety – as if I don’t have enough of that already!
So it was with a fair bit of trepidation that I prepared for a trip to the theatre on Sunday with B, my disabled daughter, to see a pantomime version of Little Red Riding Hood by a children’s theatre group. Show time was 1pm, which meant bringing lunch with us. It was in a strange theatre, in a building I’d never noticed before, despite driving past it hundreds of times, so I didn’t know whether or not it would work for us.
But we had to go. One of B’s long time friends was going to be performing. She also happens to have Down Syndrome, and I wanted to support her, and it sounded like the kind of show that B would enjoy.
And luck was on our side.
B used the toilet before we left, so no danger of a soiled nappy during the performance. I left late as usual and rolled up to find no spaces anywhere, so I had to be creative with my parking, to make sure I could safely remove B’s wheelchair from the van.
There was a lift as promised and one suitable space remained at the end of a row where she could see the stage reasonably well.
From the opening song, I knew it was going to be a big hit. B knew all the songs and was very vocal at times with her appreciation, but luckily there were lots of children there so she wasn’t the only one laughing, and no one seemed to mind. There was also plenty for adults to enjoy from the political digs to some really excellent singing and dancing from the talented cast.
We ate lunch during the interval which was a bit weird, but it was lunch time.
On the stage B’s friend was no different to any of the other performers, except we were cheering her a bit more loudly, and I may have had to wipe away an emotional tear or two.
Fittingly the final song was We’re All In This Together. It was the perfect song to end a show that was inclusive for audience and performers alike. It said it all.