Yesterday brought me away from online shopping and to an actual mall. I'm not an enthusiastic mall shopper. I've become the in and outer. I want to park close to a store, unhook Will from his car seat, put him in the stroller, dart in and then get out. Mall shopping means a long protracted trip in and around and up or down and through. Plus the car seat, stroller thing. I used to love mall shopping. I grew up in a mall in Scarborough Ontario. If any readers here are from Ontario, they will know the Scarborough Town Center. If they are my age they will remember the Shirt Stop, where I had a Kristy McNicoll t-shirt made, among others. They'll also remember Santa's pink candy castle between the escalators.
I digress, yesterdays trip was one of bag lugging and because of the three layers I was wearing when I went in, the trip became sweaty. Will is also not a great shopping companion as he does not like any baggage in his "space". Above the seat, where the canopy of the stroller folds in, or beside him, nothing can be in his space. No food, coats, toys, nothing. He runs a ship shape stroller. So after the basket underneath gets full it's up to me to carry everything. I was visiting the last store, standing at the checkout when a lady approached Will and said I have a son like him, he's 29 now. Of course I was going to drum up a conversation with this woman, who was there with her husband visiting from California to see their daughter and her family. Their daughter was with them as well, with her two young sons. They were a lovely family and I learned a lot about their son. I learned a lot period. Their son was currently away on a trip to Mexico with a friend. He played tennis, soccer and bowled. His dad was the soccer coach. His mom very involved with Special Olympics. He could drive a car.
Really! I told them I had read about people with DS achieving these goals, but had never really met anyone at this point. Now I can say I have! My trip to the mall was worth the heavy bags and the grumpy co-shopper. I came home with more knowledge and understanding than when I left.
As I pushed the stroller for home (with Will's now loud demands of Car! Car!) I spotted Santa sitting in his woodlan d forest. There was no line-up! So I quick steered that stroller up to Santa. I dropped my armload and unbuckled Will. He approached Santa with his arms out and his baritone exclamations of "Sa-ta!". He sat right up there happy as a clam.
He somehow looks older than he normally does in this picture. He looks taller and thinner. He looks confident here.
Maybe that is just how I see him now, after meeting a nice family from California.