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Before the holidays began I had to take one of my sons to a doctors appointment in North Vancouver. I have now lived on the mainland over 20 years and have been to North Vancouver many times.

When we used to do the outdoor markets at Lonsdale, they had the community sports center at Seymour(I think), we used to be in North Vancouver all the time. You forget the fun and the beauty when you are apart of something every day.

My son who lives with Autism participates in a totally different way than you or I. It is so wonderful to stop and watch with him to see how it is that he sees, what catches his eyes and holds his attention.

On this day it was a light rain that was washing away the light snow we had the night before.

We took our own car, now knowing that it is at the Quay, next time we would take the train in. He loves the train and would love the seabus.

We went to our appointment and did the best to give the answers the doctors were looking for as part of his assessment. But the best part of the day was when we went for the promised treat and a walk around the Quay.

I had forgotten the wonderful little shops at the Quay and the wonderful cafes and bistros. We went inside first and sat and had a very milky(too cool) hot chocolate. He seemed so grown up drinking like a “big boy” from his cup. His eyes always scanning the room.

Our shared fries, and by shared, I mean he ate them all, kept us busy for some time. He sat there so calm and collected. From another chair, an onlooker would have a hard time to see his challenges, the ones he lives with daily.

His recent mastery of an ever-increasing group of words, makes my heart go pitter pat, as we were told that he would potentially never speak. Here he was using his words and he and I were just sitting, like any grandfather and child would, having a conversation “our” way. That’s right a conversation.

This kid has been with us going on five years. He brings to our house a love, a hope, a prove them wrong attitude, and a gentleness that will melt not only your heart but teaches us to keep up the fight for him and teaches us all is possible.

After about a half an hour it was time for our walk. He is so independent these days, that hand-holding is becoming a thing of the past. It is funny we have always said that he is our “cat”, in that when he wants the attention, cuddling he will come to you. However, when he wants to be on his own he will clearly let you know that too.

We strolled around the indoor market for another half an hour, looking at all the small shops. His hands never once touching where he shouldn’t. He strolled with his hands behind his back like a little ole man out on a morning stroll. ( I wish I had thought to take a pic, but that’s why I have Darrell, for on another outing he captured our little boy and his Aunti Rain) I can not tell you what this does to someone that’s been told: “your child most likely won’t be able to do, a list of things”.

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We stopped a moment to look at some toys that were bright colors, again he reached out but looked at me and never touched. When it was time to move away he simply began to walk. My thought is he loves the outdoors and that is where he was focused to be. We were off again.

This kid comes even more alive when he hits the outdoors, he and his dad go to the parks often. He loves the green of the grasses and trees and loves to sniff and taste as he motors along.

Equally, he loves his water, whether it be a shower, a bath or the rain coming down. We went on to the large area in front of Quay and sat. He sat there taking in the boats and the ferry coming in and out. He watched the birds picking up whatever was left for them on the ground. Once he turned his head and looked upward for the sound of the plane he heard.

It was at that moment I wondered what is going through your head little one. Was it similar to mine, that here I am one of the most blessed people in the world right at this very moment, getting to sit here with one of my favorite people? That the person I am sitting beside brings me such joy and makes me feel so humbled that this amazing little person has come into our life. (he wouldn’t say little referring to me LOL). Would he think like me, that life would have been so different without him in our lives, and that we can’t imagine a life without him? Like me, would he think that we live in the most amazing part of the world and that we can simply drive in any direction to experience it? Or is he simply thinking….. I hope that bird doesn’t shit on me…

I hope that you have someone in your life that brings you joy. I am blessed to have many.

I also hope that you get out and see some part of BC through the eyes of someone else. Happy travel Tuesday.

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