A referral was received from the court for a couple to assist with the contact arrangements over their little boy. They arranged a date to meet but then the weather changed and there was snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures. However, amidst reports of the closure of Gatwick and other airports and 400 stationary Lorries on the M25 everyone made it to the meeting.
They met on a Wednesday morning and so it was agreed that Mum would drop Bobby off at his nursery beforehand and Dad would collect him later.
After dropping the little boy at nursery, his mother bought him his first ever pair of wellington boots because of the weather. She brought them to the meeting so she could hand them to the boy’s father, as he was picking their son up after the meeting. When she entered the meeting, she took them out of the bag and placed them on the table, so they would not get forgotten.
And that is where they remained: right in the middle of the mediation table throughout the whole of the session.
These were not any old wellington boots. They were tiny, baby wellington boots with camouflage pattern adorning the shiny plastic and glittery soles.
There in the middle of the table was a reminder of what was important.
They were talking about a tiny vulnerable child whose feet were so small as to fit into these little boots. The army camouflage imitated toughness, but in these little boots it was fickle and false and worthy of protection, not really able to protect itself. The boots were flimsy plastic and not substantial, Dad would add more help from thick woolly socks for tender feet. The boots would fit the boy now and keep his feet dry, but they would be less than useless in a few months time.
The mediation had a successful outcome as the wellington boots were a constant reminder that the couple were not there to argue, but to do what was best for their child.
“I would like to thank both you and Lucy for such a positive experience, despite the outcome not being as I had hoped. You were both so very kind and I have already recommended your service to a family. One thing I lacked before I cam was the understanding/knowledge that I would be treated fairly in this process. It was so positive and the experience very “gentle” and thoughtful.”