Snow in Toronto

Filed Under (Acceptance, Adam, Inspiration, Writing) by Estee on 06-02-2011

Last week, The Weather Network announced that we were about to get a huge storm. The city prepared, remembering several years ago, when the army was called in. Last week, everyone prepared. Schools were shut down. I received an email from Adam’s school that there would be no school the following day, anticipating the oncoming emergency.This was going to be serious.

The next day, Adam and I went for a walk. The streets were quiet and I scoffed at what Torontonians think of as a weather emergency. “Weathertainment,” I’ve heard it called. To get an idea, check this out:

It snowed last night too. Today, Adam and I plan on taking the hills, facing the “danger” head on. Yes, we are going tobogganning. Remember those days? When we’d go out and play all day in the freezing cold and our parents didnt’ give a crap if we got frostbite or not; when we went to friend’s houses who were sick anyway? Ah…those were the days.


Adam goes to Holland Bloorview for art classes. There, he gets to be surrounded in what I call a little piece of heaven, that place. The art studio is one of the most magnificent ones I’ve ever visited. The art projects are innovative.

I sit around the lobby while he takes his class, and I get to watch other people, talk to others. In wheelchairs, braces… people of all kinds, I feel more relaxed and human than any place else on earth. I study my books, think about my writing. I’m taking a memoir class with the wonderful person/writer, Beth Kaplan. Yet, I keep trying to focus on the scene…the scene….zoom in the on the SCENE, I think. I’m trying to tell too much story to soon…I rush. Story of my life. My mom said since I was a little girl, I always wanted to know what was going to happen to me. The wisdom of slowing down is just beginning to absorb. But then again, we can’t change our essential nature. Maybe all we can do is train it a bit.

Then, for one of those moments that sink me, I think I can’t do it. Just who do I think I am? A writer? Yes, she assures in one class. It’s part of a writer’s list of fears.

It’s time to pick up Adam. I gather all my clothes…all of them…the UGG boots I took off because they make my feet too hot, and my heavy shearling coat (for the Toronto weather), and big bag of books I’ve brought along. I’m weighed down as I shuffle towards the glass studio.Adam is wearing an old shirt as a smock and it’s covered in paint. He’s in the corner near the bright twenty-foot window, a malleate in his hand, pounding a large piece of clay. He then takes a little piece and puts it where he wants it to be, and then pounds again. I stand back and watch, and then approach when I think he has taken a break. He sees me and walks towards, smiling. I lead him back to the lump of clay. “What is it?” I ask.

“It’s art,” he says without hesitation.

It is. I wish I could silence my inner critic.


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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.