Another Bloom’n Birthday

Filed Under (Adam, Single Parenthood, To Get To The Other Side) by Estee on 22-03-2010


Adam and I have birthdays fairly close together. It’s my birthday today and Adam and I spent the entire weekend celebrating.

Our first excursion was to Canada Blooms at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. We spent about an hour-and-a-half strolling and looking at garden constructions (which I love), and Adam seemed to enjoy it too. He loved the many water features and water falls and in particular, a tunnel made out of leaves in a children’s garden where little fairies were tucked into trees and other flora. Little surprises abounded like an Alice in Wonderland world — wine glasses embedded in wood logs, a tunnel made out of leaves, and other neat objects for the imagination. In our new garden at our new house, I’ve tucked away similar items for Adam to find — mostly animal and Buddhas. I think I may be hiding a few more things to make it more magical. There’s nothing better than watching a child intrigued and delighted by such things — simpler things that we can create rather than those we must buy.

As you can see from the photos above, this was the first time that Adam ever allowed his face to be painted. He chose the “red lady-bug,” he said specifically. “Red.” He smiled and tilted his head a little at the tickling feeling of the paint brush against his skin. I am thinking of how crowded it was and the little guy enshrouded by taller people. I specifically remember that feeling as a child — in malls and other crowded places where adults felt like a dense jungle above and around me that eventually I’d feel overheated and get a headache. While we left before it became too much for him, I’d say an hour-and-a-half was a pretty good chunk of time!

The following day we spent out for lunch and a walk, and finding ingredients for the recipe of (red) tomato soup he wanted to cook (he is reading a lot of cookbooks). So we made a list and went to the grocery store where I asked Adam to push the cart, and find each item on the list. He really enjoyed this even though he only spent about ten minutes with me in the kitchen because, frankly, I do not want Adam chopping onions and garlic for the handling of the kitchen knife. Instead, he got to stir the pot. Just the smile on his face from being able to do his own shopping was enough gift for me. Adam so wants to do many things and his pleasures are mine.

Then, we went to Riverdale Farm to see the animals. The Clydesdale horse came to see us and the cow’s face was so close Adam was enthralled. He watched it chew its cud for a long time and like watching him shop for groceries, I enjoyed watching him watch the cow. He reached out his little hand and I lifted him so he could pet the cow along its nose. He was also interested in the sheep. I reminded him of the sheep in Babe — the movie he watched almost every day when he was a toddler and wonder if he was thinking about them too. We walked around Riverdale and then came home to make dinner for my folks.

So it has been a simple birthday for me, full of earthly delights. And as for the ladybugs, let me quote Francis in Under the Tuscan Sun — may there be “lots and lots of ladybugs” in the coming year. I think I’ve shown this clip someplace else before, but this has been my movie of 2009:


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About Me


I’m a PhD candidate at York University, Critical Disability Studies, with a multi-disciplinary background in the arts as a curator and writer. I am the Founder of The Autism Acceptance Project (, and an enamoured mother of my only son who lives with the autism label. I like to write about our journey, critical issues regarding autism in the area of human rights, law, and social justice, as well as reflexive practices in (auto)ethnographic writing about autism.