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Some of my best memories with the kids are of bringing Maxandre and Zackaël (and eventually Adélie) to museums. Living in Ottawa, we’re fortunate to have so many good museums at our disposal, and I found it to be a great way to get out of the house and do something interesting and educational with the kids.
I started bringing Maxandre to museums when he was young and when Zackaël was born, he would tag along with us. As he got older, he started to become more interested in the displays. Like most kids, the Dinosaur exhibits at the Museum of Nature were among his favourites, and when the Museum of Science and Technology re-opened in 2017 it quickly joined the ranks as one of our favourite destinations. The Aviation Museum rounds out our top 3.
Zackaël always brought enthusiasm and excitement to everything he did. He never complained and was as happy-go-lucky as a kid could be. I could have brought him to watch paint dry, and he still would have been happy if it meant he was spending time with us. His enthusiasm was contagious, and one of his favourite expressions when he was excited or impressed by something was to exclaim “WOW!” or “WHOA!”
Because of COVID, visiting museums hasn’t really been an option since Adélie got out of the hospital. Closed during lockdowns, the museums re-opened in September, and again last week, but we generally avoid non-essential visits to indoor places.
Like so many other things since the accidents, I now have very mixed feelings about museums. There are so many places in this city that I love bringing the kids (Rideau Falls, the Parliament Buildings, the canal, the list goes on and on). These places bring back so many memories of happy times together. However, these happy memories can’t be separated from the inescapable reality that doing activities together will now never be the same. Often, just driving by places we enjoyed together can cause memories and mixed emotions to come rushing in.
This doesn’t mean we won’t go back. The accident took so many things from us, it would be counter-productive to allow it to rob us of doing the activities that Zackaël used to be a part of. But it does mean that happy family outings will now be mixed together with some sadness, and a feeling that something is missing. I hope at least that going back to these museums with Maxandre and Adélie will allow us to feel connected with Zackaël, and feel like he’s with us in some small way.
That’s it for now!
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