Day 19: A Special Kind of Hot Wheel

What a weekend! It went by too fast. We now have a big boy three-year-old.

It’s been a hectic few days. Late last week a longtime family friend, Art, passed away. He fell in his home. It was sudden and unexpected. He was my parents’ next door neighbor. He leaves his wonderful wife, Eloise, behind. It is sad, but my mom says Eloise says he “didn’t suffer,” and is staying positive.

That has nothing to do with today’s wonder, but it’s been heavy on my mind and heart.

Today, I wanted to share a photo of a new Hot Wheels car I adore. It’s the first ever wheelchair Hot Wheels (as far as I know). I purchased one for Bennett. I look forward to him playing with Gavin, the next time we go back to California.

In the land of disability, small steps like this one feel big. Go out and sell out your local Wal-Mart, stat.

Day 4: My brother Experiencing Wonder at Legoland

It’s Day 4 of the year and I’m already feeling the growing pains of doing something new every day. It’s hard. No wonder I have not done a project like this in ten years!

But to make this project more interesting, and to take it out of my own world, I decided I’d tell others’ experiences of wonder, too. I decided this from the beginning. I think there is wonder and enchantment that comes from listening and being present for others’ stories. Storytelling is a gift.

Well, yesterday my dad, Gavin, Nick, and Bennett came home with one of those stories.

The four of them spent the day at Legoland. Nick had a free ticket that was expiring, and the boys love it, anyhow, so they went.

However, sometimes we don’t know how big places like Legoland will be in accommodating my brother, Gavin. He needs a little extra help. But I’m proud and happy to report that the people who worked at Legoland went above and beyond for him. Because he cannot walk on his own, my dad has to carry him into each ride. I guess my dad was supposed to pick up a special ADA pass at guest services so Gavin could get to the front of each line — a nice gesture — but he didn’t know and did not have one when entering the first ride. Well, while my dad, Nick, Gavin, and Bennett were on their first ride, the ride attendant had called a supervisor and someone hand delivered my brother a pass. No one asked them, they just did that on their own.

At the end of the day, they said they were waiting in line somewhere, and wanted to ask another supervisor a special question. I guess Legoland has a really cool thing where some employees carry special gold coins on them, and you can ask them, “Have you seen Mr. Gold?” and if they have, they give you a free gold coin, which is a free ticket into the park!

Well, my dad had a good feeling about this guy carrying one, so he pushed Gavin his his wheelchair to the guy and asked him if he’d seen Mr. Gold. “Who is asking?” the supervisor responded.

“He is,” my dad said, placing his hand on my brother’s shoulder. “He would ask you if he could, but he can’t.”

The man then became extra gregarious and playful with Gavin. He engaged with Gavin while he searched in his pockets and found a Mr. Gold! Nick grabbed Gavin’s hand and extended it to be able to take the coin. My dad said the Legoland staff were all over-the-top kind to Gavin, and it was so nice to hear.

Sometimes, it’s difficult because Gavin wants to do normal fun things, but he just needs a little extra help, and I’m happy to report the two boys — Gavin and Bennett — were both able to experience the wonder of Legoland.

I’m grateful for days like this one. There is wonder in the kindness of strangers.

on a coaster at Legoland