All too often we hear how social media can be used to shame parents – like the mum who shamed a stranger for telling her to shut her child up on a plane.
Or the person who shamed a mum by videoing her leaving her children in the car alone and sharing it all over the internet.
So we love it when we hear a story like this one. Mum Sarah posted a story on Facebook about two flight attendants who did lovely things for her son, Oscar.
Oscar happens to have Down’s Syndrome and his mum has set up a Facebook account featuring his stories called Don’t Be Sorry.
Sarah, her partner Chris, Oscar and their two other children were recently on a BA flight from Geneva to London. So far so normal, but what the BA flight attendants did next gave the family an amazing flight.
“The first flight attendant, Chloe, saw that Chris and I were using Makaton [a sign and symbol language that can help children communicate with adults] to support our speech with Oscar, so she starting using it too.
“She said she had two children herself and had attended Sing and sign classes over the years so had learnt it through them. It was no big deal to her I’m sure, but it really was so heartwarming to watch a stranger go out of her way to engage and take the time with Oz. I could see it really made his day too.
“But, after we got off the plane and while we were waiting for our buggy, another British Airways cabin crew member called Jane, came over to talk to us.
“She had obviously noticed Oscar and said she too had a daughter who has Down’s Syndrome, who’s now 18 years old.
“She talked about how she had attended mainstream school and how she’d gotten 5 GCSEs. She talked of how she has loads of friends and has a boyfriend.
“She showed us photos of them both attending their prom and they looked so so happy.
“We talked a bit about life with DS and how she and Oscar were getting on but the thing that has stayed with me since our conversation, is that she said she’d wanted to talk to us because she knows parents of young children like us, like to hear how older children with DS are getting on…
“And she’s so right. She said that when her little girl was born 18 years ago, her consultant had said to them “Treat her just as you would your other children.
“Push her. Challenge her and she’ll do great”… And she said that’s exactly what she’s done. It was only a brief chat, but it was so lovely of her to take the time to talk to us so openly and honestly.”
Sarah’s post has been shared more than 22,000 times and received more than 2,000 comments, a number telling their own, similar, stories. One wrote:
“It’s nice to hear the positive things rather than the negative things. When I worked at Boots one of my customers had a son with Down’s Syndrome called Christopher aged about 10.
“He would greet me each time with a hello and a big cuddle. I wonder how he’s doing now ?”
“Wonderful to hear of Oscar bringing out such love and compassion in people.
“I know you don’t need any one else to say it but oh my goodness what a beautiful little boy you have!!!!!!
“It is so very kind of you to acknowledge these ladies who with just meeting your little prince have been blessed already. Love to you and your family xxxxxxx”
Awwww, here here, in fact, the whole family looks pretty beautiful to us! Thank you for sharing your story, Sarah ?