The visible family

A lot sitting in the pram on holidays
A lot sitting in the pram on holidays

When someone’s different they just seem to stand out in the crowd.

We have become that visible family……the one’s that everyone stares at, the one’s that everyone judges and the one’s that nobody understands.

Where ever we are, whatever we’re doing, we feel the eyes upon us.

People pretend not to look, but they do….it’s natural, they’re just curious. But by the end of a week at the same hotel with the same looks by everyone you pass you can’t help but wonder what life could have been like?!

The inevitable question arises, and it only arises when things get tough….

Why us? Why Jennifer? What did we do wrong?

No-one dares to make eye contact with Odrun or I, no-one dares to ask, they just stare with that look…..

Some come right up close to Jennifer, before they’ve even noticed anything’s wrong, they get the shock of their lives when Jennifer turns her ear towards them not her eyes.

They smile and walk away……..

I feel sorry for those people, they missed an opportunity to learn something, but on the other hand it’s not certain we’d be in the mood to teach them.


The older Jennifer gets, the more visible she will become, the more eyes will gaze upon her and us. For Odrun and I we’ve learnt how to deal with it, but for Emma it’s going to be tough journey.

I guess there’ll come a time when the teenage Emma doesn’t want to be seen in public with her sister, gone will be the days when they bonded like these days.


But that’s fairly normal for every teenager isn’t it?

Being embarrassed of their parents, their siblings, their relatives?

Difference is superficial, below it is everything else, everything everyone else has…..feelings.

Emma comes home sometimes and tells us what other kids say about Jennifer, but she rightly puts them in there place too!

Jennifer enjoyed her holidays just as much as us…..she can’t swim, walk into or sit on the side of pool, play on the beach and build sand castles or even eat ice cream. She enjoys life in her own way, once she’s got a grip on her surroundings things become pleasurable.


The thought of leaving Jennifer in an institution for a week during summer holidays is twofold.

It would be great for Odrun and I to turn off auto pilot for a week! Stop making bottles, giving medicine and changing nappies, feeding Jennifer, training with her and so on…..

Taking Jennifer on holidays is a hell of a lot of work, it’s like having a 6 month old, there’s a lot to take into consideration, there’s a lot we’re just not able to do, there’s a lot of restrictions, sometimes you just can’t break the shackles. Between the brightness of the beach, the wind in her face, and the mass of noises around the pool you inevitably find yourself spending a lot of meal times in your room, alone with Jennifer.

Getting a bit late isn’t it mum and dad?!


On the other hand, she just wants to have fun like everyone else, and how can you deny her that????

If she’s so different, how can she be so normal too?DSC_0167

Iva and Emma, or as Emma calls her "pretty lady"
Iva and Emma, or as Emma calls her “pretty lady”
Mini disco on the beach!


Holiday friends

One thought on “The visible family

  1. What’s different for us, it’s normal for Jennifer. I don’t think she misses walking, swimming or even eating ice cream in the same way as we would do in case of a sudden disabillity. Such a lucky girl having loving and taking care parents. That counts the most!


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