It isn’t an exaggeration to say that the last year has been unbelievably difficult for my little man. Home schooling aside (my thoughts on this are well documented!!), periods of illness have kept him in hospital and out of school far more than anyone would have wanted, plus the joys of shielding for a large part of the year have meant that he’s missed his friends, he’s missed the social aspect of school and has missed precious time with his beloved Grandparents.
So, as the last week of the school term began and we inched towards the end of the academic year it was an excited Sam who went of to school ready to enjoy the events planned with his friends to mark the end of what has got to be the most unusual of years. As his Mum, seeing him chatting away happily to his taxi driver Dave and passenger assistant Mandy and seeing how much they obviously adore him is just the best feeling. But today is a Big Day for our boy as it is the Horton Lodge Awards day. Aka, The Oscars.
The UK weather has actually obliged for once – with glorious sunshine, allowing the planned outdoors event to happen!
Far, far more exciting than the Hollywood version, The Horton Lodge Oscars is the event of the year. Thanks to covid, the event was cancelled last year (boooooo), but thanks to the creativity and immense efforts of both staff and students the 2021 Oscars looks set to be one of the best ever. AND the UK weather has actually obliged for once – with glorious sunshine, allowing the planned outdoors event to happen!
When you are celebrating the achievements of children with multiple, complex and often life-limiting conditions, there is no such thing as a small success. Every single achievement is massive not only for the child, but for their entire support network; the staff who work with them daily, the therapists who see beyond current issues to what is possible, the parents who never stop believing in miracles and all the other family and friends who keep cheerleading and supporting. Its always a deeply emotional event and this year was more so than usual having come so very close to losing Sam earlier in the year. I am not ashamed to admit that I did not hold it together when my little boy was announced as the recipient of the school’s Endeavour Award for his determination and courage this year – I was fine right up to the point that he was presented with his award and his little face just broke into a huge smile, and he excitedly kept showing his TA his certificate.. and at that point I cracked. This child has been through more in a year than most adults experience in a lifetime; and he has emerged stronger, happier and more awesome than ever. He humbles me with his determination on a daily basis and has achieved so much this year in defiance of the pandemic. Any achievement is worth celebrating, regardless of the individual; heres to a lovely, restful summer!