Star Dust

Filed Under (Inspiration) by Estee on 27-02-2012

I have a soft spot for Christopher Plummer. When Adam was a year old, he was mesmerized by the Sound of Music. He loved when Captain Von Trapp used the whistle to call for his children and keep them “in line.” I enjoyed Adam’s baby belly laughs every time he heard that whistle scene. For years Adam loved that movie. I think he fell in love with Maria. Most importantly, the songs and lines in that movie were some of Adam’s first words.

So when we spotted Mr. Plummer at the Four Seasons Cafe in Toronto when Adam was nearly three, I couldn’t resist. I’m not the kind of person who goes up to celebrities and asks for the autographs. I don’t like to disturb private lives. As Adam and I were leaving, we walked past Mr. Plummer and his wife who were sitting near the front of the cafe. The thought of missing an opportunity to thank him (for he did not know that Adam was autistic and could not speak) prompted me to turn around with Adam, who would not have recognized the older Plummer as his dear Captain.

“Excuse me, Mr. Plummer?” I approached timidlly with Adam by my side. 

“Yes!” he said delightedly, his eyes darting up at me who had interrupted a quiet conversation he seemed to be having with his wife. Already I was taken. 

“I just want to let you know that my son is a big fan. He watches The Sound of Music over and over again.” Mr. Plummer’s face was so gracious. At that point, I could have gone into a little diatribe of how Adam was autistic and how much that movie meant to us, but I didn’t want to take up Mr. Plummer’s precious time.

“Well,” he responded in that well-known dignified voice. “It’s so nice to see that my audience is growing younger and younger.” We both chuckled and I said thank you and goodbye.

Maybe Adam will enjoy that story one day. I sure enjoyed watching Mr. Plummer receiving his well-deserved award with the same graciousness we experienced that afternoon.  Little did Mr. Plummer know what a difference he made in Adam’s young life — how the movie taught him some language, music, made him laugh and calmed him nearly every night before bed. I suppose none of us truly realize the sprinkles of star dust we can leave upon each other.

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About Me


ESTÉE KLAR

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 (www.taaproject.com), 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.