Had a long kip this afternoon and woke feeling sadder than sad. Tears and darkness. Payback for trying to reduce grinding exhaustion. Bloody grief. Bloody crap old everything. Time to draw on happy memories and have a ‘fun times’ breather. And what better place than the trip to the London Dungeon? August 1st, 2006.
I took Rosie, Will, LB and Owen. Tom not happy that he wasn’t old enough. We fast-tracked to avoid the queues (Yeah, fast-tracked. Give it up you fast-track enviers/doubters/deniers/challengers. You don’t know the half of it. Fast-track. A rarely spotted perk for the “disabled family”. One of the few times unusual challenges are openly recognised and responded to effectively). We fast-tracked. Clutching the blue disabled parking badge to prove our fast-track credentials (Yep, it ain’t a perfect system). Anyway, we were in. Quickly, smoothly and without agitation.
Kids (ours and others) instantly on edge. Darkness, chilly stone corridors, fear lurking in every corner. Growls and groans. Buckets of blood and gore. Staff who delighted in generating terror.
And LB was off. From the moment a ‘statue’ brushed a cobweb across his cheek, causing one of his (unnamed) brothers to do a cartoon, on the spot, scarper of fear, LB had a joyful time. Drenched with magic, fun and laughter. Not surprising really given the combination of London and a Horrible History type engagement.
We were herded through each horror area with a cohort of families. LB consistently picked out. He sat in the dock and received a sentence by the judge. Giggling uncontrollably, infectiously, as he was sentenced to death by boiling, or some other hideous punishment. He laughed his socks off as he was dragged out of the crowd to be the plague doctor’s sidekick. His merriment and joy a perfect foil to the mix of banter and horror chat.
His laughter, engagement and fearlessness a balm for terrified children there (including our own, erhem, no names and all that…)
When you have a child who is so far removed from being picked for anything because s/he is systematically and structurally removed from the ‘pick pool’, it’s a magical moment when they suddenly/unexpectedly are.
Dazzling. And priceless. A good day.