Fo and I and many of our connections have been posting this video all over Facebook, so a lot of you will have seen it before: Don’t Screen Us Out
It’s a video that was made of our protest in London. I even get a speaking role trying, incoherently, to make an important point. It’s the point I have often made: that AJ is a massive influence on her society and the people she meets.
Two girls from the village, daughters of mates of ours, came over this afternoon, just as out first lambs were born. The three girls spent the afternoon with the lambs, the big girls looked after AJ when I went to get some kit (you need a lot of kit!). They then they all fed the littlest lambs. Giving a lamb colostrum while it balances precariously on AJ’s knee, might not be the most efficient way to see it through these first key hours of life but the three girls undoubtedly benefitted from doing the job together.
The son of some friends of ours who have moved up north, the big brother of AJ’s best friend, El, was apparently chatting randomly about AJ and said, “I wish they could cure her so she can take part in everything like we can, but then I think she’s brilliant and happy how she is, and she has made me better at just going for it when I’m not sure.” And, as his Mum added, “Measure that for impact”.
However, the real reason I wanted to do an update on the last blog post about our march was to mention Otto – the person who AJ has had most of a beneficial impact on. Now, I know that there is nothing worse than a parent banging on about their wonderful child, I might be able to get away with it with AJ, given the circumstances, but it could be a little more nauseating with Otto.
But I think that the beneficial influence that AJ has had on Otto is relevant to the point I am making about what she brings to the world around her. I’d like to think that he has always been a really good bloke but she does bring out the very best in him.
We had actually decided that we weren’t going to go on the protest, Fo and I were both going to go to work and the kids to school. Otto was up early in the morning, I thought he looked really tired but Fo told me he had been crying because we weren’t going on the protest and doing our bit. It was obviously massively important to him, so we had to go. His school was great, and very supportive about his taking a day off. He got us all making placards, led the cheering, listened intently to all the speeches and got in the front line of the march on the Department of Health. He did assure me that missing a day of school was 99.999999% about supporting the cause and only 0.00001% (is that right?) about not having to put up with his many Man City supporting mates just after they had thrashed Chelsea.
He certainly isn’t perfect, we had another mystery illness strike at homework time yesterday, but the way he is with his sister and what she brings out in him is truly beautiful.