When I go back and read my first post that I wrote in 2010 when Travis the Lionheart was only 2, how could I have known what this blog would become?
I don’t know if I have ever shared ‘the big picture’ about Living Lionheart, and how this blog started with a small idea, and then literally changed my life – and dare I say, the lives of other families like ours?
This is what happened. I was on the brink of turning the big 3-Oh, and I was struggling to cope with raising a special needs child. That’s putting it mildly, I think. I had been steadily losing my marbles ever since he was diagnosed with Septo Optic Dysplasia when he was 8 months old.
I started writing about what we were going through, and I wanted my blog, which was then called “A Lionheart in our Bathtub”, to “educate and entertain”. Within a few posts I hit my stride, and found my hop-skippety mumbo-gumbo style of writing, my “voice” that I first started experimenting with when I worked at FHM. (Yeah, can you believe it? I used to be what we media folk called a “mag hag”.)
Within 6 months of starting the blog, I made the Top 10 in the Best New Blog category of the South African Blog Awards. Then a few months after that, I won the Mommy Blogger of the Year award from Kidzworld.
The story of the “Lionheart family” appeared in Living & Loving – and it felt so strange to even think of myself as “Momma Lionheart” in those days. Then we were featured as Blogger of the Month in Your Baby magazine. Then followed more interviews, most recently in Sarie magazine.
Not only that, but I was being asked to contribute articles about parenting to various magazines, and soon I was able make a living as a freelance writer.
I couldn’t quite believe that not only was I able to share our story, and be the voice of families like ours AND make a living by doing it. That is some fairy godmother stuff, right there.
Some time in 2012, just before World Autism Month, which is in April, I decided to play matchmaker and find one person who had a tablet they didn’t use anymore, and a family struggling with autism that wanted to use the device as an educational tool. (Travis the Lionheart goes to an amazing school for special needs children and I knew that many families like ours were discovering that there are apps out there especially designed for kids with autism and special needs to communicate and learn.)
A tablet was donated to me. And then another, and then another.
Starting a charity seemed like the right thing to do.
And so I was now a blogger, a freelance journalist, and charity founder. And it all started with that first post back in July 2010.
But let me tell you a secret: in my inbox I have a folder where I have saved all the emails I receive from families like ours over the years. I read them when times are hard for our family. Especially now, when our Lionheart is going through a rough patch and we’re feeling the strain.
Being Momma Lionheart is a great honour. The relationships and friendships that have grown from the seeds of this blog, and our charity, have changed me greatly as a human being. A bit like Cinderella, except instead of sparkly shoes and a pumpkin coach, I was given a magical soapbox from which to share our story and touch people’s lives.
Do you want to turn something small into something big?
This summer Lumia is granting wishes!
Maybe you want to spend some quality time with your kids on a beach holiday, but you just can’t afford it. Maybe you have always wanted to do a course in copywriting? Maybe you are trying to get your business off the ground, and you just need someone to sweep in and build you a beautiful website and print some fancy business cards? Maybe you want to propose?
Let Lumia help you do that – tell them what inspired idea you want to make a reality, and they just might! Click here (it’s a really short form to fill in).
PS: I’m deeply curious what your idea is. If you want to tell me, put it in the comments below.