I was walking across the dog-free zone on Wandsworth Common today with my son, who has a disability that affects his walking and running. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a small group - two mums with sons who were perhaps 6 or 7 years old. The children pointed at my son and started mocking and imitating the way he walked.
I didn't say anything at the time because my son hadn't noticed and I didn't want to draw his attention to the horribly cruel children.
I desperately wanted to go over and ask those boys how they could be so unkind. My son, who has already had several surgeries, faces a lifetime in and out of hospitals. Despite this, our entire family have worked very hard to make life as normal for him as possible. He went to the most gorgeous primary and now goes to an equally amazing secondary. We don't mind at all if people ask him about his condition, or about all the scars from his surgeries, or even about his limp, but this sort of ignorance is atrocious.
I was so disheartened by what happened today and I'm still crying thinking about it. For anyone who's thinking "kids will be kids, they were young and don't know better" - that's my point. Kids need to be taught empathy and that begins at home. Please.