We often forget about how blessed we are until we are put into situations with the less fortunate. Aidan, Trystan, and I spent the past two days in Portland for Trystan's surgery follow up visits and I am filled with pride in how they handled themselves in situations that may be considered uncomfortable for others.
The first thing we did was head to Pioneer Square. Pioneer Square is known for being an eclectic, artsy, "green" area so I was very excited to expose the boys to everything that I love. We saw everything from street musicians to the infamous Portland food carts (covered brilliantly by my friend Tiffany Harelik in Food Trailer Diaries- available here!)
This is an overview of Pioneer Square.
The most eclectic cart we found- menu options were: chorizo & chips (Portuguese chorizo, giardiniera, chips, & aioli) and Fishy chips (Spanish anchovies and aioli)
After walking the food carts, we went to world famous VooDoo Donuts, waited in line with some amazing peeps and ordered our faves... the Ol' Dirty Bastard (glazed donut, chocolate frosting, crushed Oreos, and peanut butter drizzle), the Bacon Maple Bar (self explanatory), the Gay Bar donut (filled with cream and covered in Fruit Loops in the colors of the rainbow), and the VooDoo Doll donut (shaped like a voodoo doll, filled with raspberry creme, decorated with eyes and a mouth and stabbed with a pretzel stake). We love this place!
While we were standing in line, a gentleman walked by with a styrofoam cup and asked all of the patrons, "Can you spare a couple of pennies for a man who is down on his luck?" While most people simply looked down or sparked conversations with friends in order to avoid speaking to him, Aidan said, "Well, I can't spare a couple of pennies but how about $2?" The gentleman was very grateful and I was filled with pride that my thirteen year old son gave so generously with no questions asked while adults refused.
We then checked in at the hospital for Trystan's appointments. We get the majority of his procedures done at the Shriner's Hospital in Portland and I always have to take one of the boys with me to help carry bags and entertain Trystan and every time we go to the Shriner's we are very humbled. Trystan has his physical disabilities and has required several surgeries in his life but he never lets his health issues affect his personality. Trystan has made so many friends while in the hospital and they are all so full of life and happy~ none of them look at each other or feel any differently than all of the other children. They have already learned life lessons that so many of us adults take years to learn.
These children know no hate. They are not racist, homophobic, or ableist. They are all beautiful and full of love. It is I who am blessed by the opportunity to meet these children, regardless of why I am there. We do not look at Trystan as being disabled, we regard him as our angel who has taught us more about love than we could have ever learned on our own.