Twins – my life upside downs – runners!

It has been a while since my last blog… we’ve been away on holiday! Went to Southwold in Suffolk for a week with the bestie and her family. We all had a great week away with great weather too. Now, back to my blog – I got up to the twins being 9 months old, so here is the next bit…

When the twins turned 10 months old we joined a charity that Richard found called PSDS – providing support for children with Down Syndrome and their families. I was a bit sceptical of joining as I had been to a few groups now and didn’t want to join something else where I was made to feel a bad mother (as I am by no means an earth mother type, not breast feeding, not cuddling them all the time – mainly because it is hard to cuddle two babies at once), but this group was different. We went along to our first meeting and I was imagining that it would be us all sat round in a circle discussing our babies, how wrong I was! It was very informal, the kids were running around playing with each other, there were grandparents, aunties and uncles, cousins and siblings all having a nice chat or playing. I spoke to a few ladies who approached me and they were ALL lovely. It was so nice to be in a room full of like minded people who happened to be in the same position as us. There were a few children around the same age as Jack and Jessica, so it was nice to be able to speak to families who we could ask what to expect next with Jack’s development – well of course no one could really say as all children develop at their own pace and just go with the flow! Richard and I decided this was a group for us and we joined up.

The following month was packed. I ran 10k to raise money for Down Syndrome Association and I wasn’t alone. About 6 months earlier I had a phone call from Callan (bestie’s little boy who was 8 at the time, brace yourselves this is a tear jerker). The call was at about 6.30-7.00 in the evening and he just called asking to speak to me. Anybody that has ever met Callan will tell you that he is a very gentle kind natured boy, as are his sisters Sidney and Carson. He simply said, ‘Manda, would you mind if we did a run to help raise money to help Jack and the charities that may give him and us support as he grows’. Understandably, I was in absolute floods of tears during the phone call, how thoughtful and kind of him?! One of of the things that we have learnt with Jack, and of course Jessica, is that kids of all ages do not seem to see disabilities and/or differences. Richard has always been very open about his personal incorrect misconception of how Jack may be accepted into society in terms of schools, sports teams and one day full time employment, as he develops as a human being and this is something that he is happy about as his fears are not in fact a reality. The amazing thing with kids are that kids see others kids as exactly what they are…kids.

The run was the run Reigate race and kids could run a mile and raise money. Alongside it was a 10k and a half marathon – given I had only just given birth I couldn’t possibly consider doing any more than a 10k, could I?! So I said that I would run too. Lisa (bestie) and Claire (my little sister) said they would run it with me and Dan (Lisa’s husband) entered the half marathon! Callan, Carson, Sidney, Lucas and Scarlett all entered the mile race and we put together a just giving page to raise money for Down Syndrome Association – we were known as team ‘Joggers for Jack!’ The day came and we had all done a lot of training to prepare for the run. It was a great atmosphere and we managed to get some t-shirts from DSA and printed off some signs saying who we were running for and a picture of Jack. Well, I think I cried most of the way round, every time Lisa or Claire ran in front of me and I saw little Jack’s face I welled up! We did the 10k in good time, 1 hour 12 mins and Dan completed the half marathon in an amazing 1 hour 32 mins! Then the kids all did their mile – I couldn’t have been prouder of them all. Before they started they all got in a circle and discussed their race tactics and agreed ‘we are doing this for Jack’ – I was gone again, I think I should officially get shares in a tissue company!

Bad mother alert! The following week I went off to Benidorm with the girls (Lisa, Claire, Chloe, Hels, Medders, Nat, Zoe and Fran) for a couple of nights. Oh My God… I was a broken woman on my return. I was a mother of 11 month old twins and living it up in Benners, drinking and not eating properly for 48 hours – bloody brilliant time! It was so good we all agreed it would be our annual girls weekend away. We’ve booked up for this year too, but thought we should go for three nights instead of two, I mean, we didn’t get to see all the cultural sites of Benners…

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You will notice that in this blog there was not one mention of a hospital visit! Jack was really well over this time and apart from the usual 6 weekly physio, we didn’t have to go to any other visits, doctors or hospital – YIPPEEEEEE! Will leave my blog here, as otherwise it gets far too long! Till the next time…

 

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