Tuesday is swimming day. One of our favourite days of the week. We can’t take any pictures, picture-taking is not allowed in most Irish pools when other people are around. But if we could, you’d see Pádraig kicking his legs moving through the pool on his back; holding on to the side bar and pushing himself out before pulling him back in; walking across the pool moving his weight from one side to the other and stretching both of his legs as he’s doing so. Today was the first time he did all of this with more confidence, determination and verve.
Earlier on today, one of us asked Pádraig which word he would use to describe them. He used his new letter sections and his bleeper to give us an “s”. Followed by an “m”. There were some laughters and a smile on Pádraig’s face (or was it a smirk?).
“Now, Pádraig, this could be “smart”, or “small”, or, who knows, “smelly” – or could you think of another descriptor?
“Give us the next letter, Pádraig!” And he gave us an “a” which reduced the options to just two: smart or small. “Which one is it, Pádraig?” And guess what? – He went for “small” causing laughter all around!!!
I think I cannot even get close to imagining how empowering that moment must have been for Pádraig, making a whole group of people around him, family, friends, carers, make laugh! Using his very limited means of communication and his incredible, loving sense of humour! He must have felt so proud!