Stuart Robinson talks about his granddaughter

Stuart Robinson with Emily (on the left) and Lucy
photo: The Wakefield Express

It has been a source of great joy to watch my two grand-daughters, Emily and Lucy, grow from babies into bright and beautiful little girls with unique personalities and gifts.

Emily is now seven and continues to amaze and astound us with her creativity and ability to learn. She has a determination and strength of character which enables her to face life with optimism and a ‘can-do’ attitude.

Emily was born with Down’s Syndrome and has overcome many of the pre-conceptions that we may have faced and taught us not to limit our expectations to what experts tell us is the ‘norm’.

Certainly, when God creates life, He does it in His image and His blueprint is within that child.

Lucy is five and a fantastic companion and sister to Emily. She is intuitive and bright, with a wonderful sense of humour. Lucy has taught Emily many things and challenged her to go further in her learning and play.

In turn, Lucy’s life has certainly been enriched by Emily. She has learned patience and kindness along with the subtle art of persuasion!

The girls have many gifts to offer each other and people around them. Neither should be limited by prejudices but allowed to pursue their goals and ambitions and encouraged to achieve their full potential.

All of us hope and pray for the safe arrival of our children and grandchildren and don’t anticipate the kind of disruption that the news of a disability may bring. Often it comes as a great shock, and a grieving process may follow, as we adjust to the realisation that life may not go exactly to our plans.

However, I cannot imagine any of us could have been prepared for the immense joy that knowing Emily has brought to our lives. We have learnt to celebrate the differences between our grandchildren and enjoy the things that unite them.

We have learnt to rejoice over small steps of development and wait patiently when things take longer to achieve. So much emphasis is given in society to our children achieving the ‘norm’ and success may often be celebrated in terms of academic results and achievements or financial gain - and it has been immensely gratifying to change the criteria we use for success and look at a whole new world that has been opened to us through the eyes of Emily.

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