I’m a firm believer in “life and let live” and hopefully I’m raising my children to live by the same.

T, in particular, is very aware of the looks and whispers that his sister encounters when we are out and his response is inevitably a stern look and this is when I’ll explain that other people don’t necessarily understand an invisible disability and that we have to make allowances.

I guess I’m used to it, I might not like it but it happens and we just have to brush it off and carry on with what we’re doing.

Where we live has been indirectly affected by the floods, fortunately we are sufficiently away from the River Thames not to be subjected to the swathes of flooding but venture out 5 minutes in any direction and it’s there, the water spreading across houses, businesses, roads, car parks and fields. Providing ample new areas for the wild birds, causing chaos beneath those waters. It’s almost as if we’re a little island within a much bigger one. Schools are closed, roads are quicker and the village is notably quieter.

Apart from a few exceptions.

I had to pick up D’s prescription today for her next injection and whilst I was waiting there was a woman with her baby in a pushchair being served. You could tell by the child’s cry that he was unwell, it was a mixture of a tired/ill cry, poor little thing. His mum was at the counter and kept soothing him.

A man came in and instantly said loudly “what’s all this noise?” and not in a particularly jovial way. The child’s mum was being attended to and she had her back to the buggy. The man looked in the buggy and said “aww, shut up”. Quietly. And then looked up to see if anyone had noticed.

Part of me wanted to march over and ask him what right he had to say that to a child. I know it wasn’t my place but if it had been my child, there would have been words said. Not loud, shouty words as that would have upset my children and made any situation ten times worse but calm, measured “live and let live” words.

Tolerance, that’s what was lacking.

What we need is Spring and some sunshine. The weather WILL get better, the floods will ease but will that man’s attitude change? I doubt it.

Tolerance or toleration is a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.

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