Yesterday we had a facebook meet up. We put a call out on our facebook page for any of our fellow Sydney followers that would like to meet us at the inclusive play space, Livvi’s Place. We did something similar last year while we were in the Los Angeles.
School holidays used to be the time I would feel the most isolated with BJ. At that time there were no inclusive playgrounds and I would envy the other parents I would see at the park. They seemed to set up their picnic rugs in the fenced area within the park and then the kids ran off to play and the parents sat chatting. It was a stark contrast to my hands-on school holidays where I had extra transfers, searched for accessible outings the kids would enjoy and I could manage. In the early days I needed help for outings because I had one child in a wheelchair and one in a pram.
I enjoyed meeting the parents, kids and siblings that came along yesterday. We chatted about their situations, difficulties and triumphs.
The kids tried out some of the playground equipment and ate cake.
The bird’s nest swing and flying fox proved a hit
and BJ’s bowling set was also popular with some.
As Aj and I drove home we chatted about the kids and parents we had met and it struck me that as people we need connection. It is wonderful to meet others who are dealing with similar situations. It gives us a feeling of belonging, it alleviates feelings of loneliness and being misunderstood. It also provides a wonderful way of sharing information and learning.
When BJ was younger I was fortunate to be a part of a mother’s group through the Cerebral Palsy Alliance which gave me a group of people with whom I could share the good times and the not so good times. We could nut out solutions and learn what worked for other children who were at a similar stage. This continued when BJ and I joined a twice a week therapy group where we worked together with other parents and children. It provided support and a feeling that other’s understood.
As a society we need to support each other, reach out a hand or just lend an ear so people don’t feel isolated.
Although we now have a virtual world where people can share experiences and solutions there is nothing quite like meeting in real life and having human contact.
Thanks to the families who met up with us yesterday. It was lovely to put faces to facebook names and we hope to organise more meet ups in the future.
Thank you also to Bec from Touched By Olivia who popped in to meet everyone.
If you are looking for somewhere to head these school holidays to meet friends why not try an inclusive playground like Livvi’s Place?
The Livvi’s Place pictured is at Yamble Reserve, Ryde. You can read more about inclusive playgrounds in my blog, Accessible Features I Love. If you live in the Brisbane area you can read my blog about The All Abilities Playground Brisbane Botanic Gardens.
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