Every year, this trip provides our family with highlight after highlight, but one of the biggest highlights so far (think bright yellow ink, underlined and in bold, probably with italics too), was our appearance on Breakfast Television, a live morning TV show shot in Toronto. We had barely slept because Isla isn't yet used to the heady lifestyle of road tripping across Ontario, and we had to be at the studio for 6am, but in our puffy eyed glory we excitedly prepared to wow the early birds of Toronto and beyond with the story of Max's Big Ride. Of course we had coached Max on how one might behave when faced with such a situation, and our expectations for our six year old weren't terribly high - I mean, we weren't hoping for long eloquent responses to any of the questions he might be asked - but we'd mentioned the importance of using a big voice, and asked him to try to cool his jets when the urge to be silly struck.
Everything was going to plan. Max and Andrew made their way to the couch and Isla and I were asked to wait outside because Isla's voice (okay, her scream) was being picked up by the mikes. The segment began. And then Max saw himself on the monitor. For anyone who hasn't seen the clip, here it is.
For those of you who have, you can hope along with us that the overall impression he left was one of a cute and entertaining kiddo and not of an out-of-control terror with low impulse control. W.C. Fields was right when he said you should never work with children or animals. Gah!
We took off for breakfast after the filming (a birthday breakfast... happy birthday me!) and then headed to the starting point for the day. As we were getting the bike ready, a group of teachers and students from White Pines Collegiate and Vocational School were exiting the hotel and they spotted the Max's Big Ride signs on our car. One of the students travelling with them had Duchenne. They were on a 3-day trip from Sault Ste Marie to Toronto to see a Jack Johnson gig and to go to Canada's Wonderland and it was wonderful to see a grade 11 student with DMD along for the journey. He was in a manual wheelchair, but he was obviously an important part of the group.
Day 2 of the ride went smoothly. It was cool but there was no rain, and our lunch of fish and chips in Pickering helped to warm everybody up. Isla and I stopped with Grandma and Grandpa at a conservation area and had fun chasing chipmunks, geese, wild turkeys and a blind raccoon while we waited for the boys on the bike, and at the end of the day we all convened at our hotel in Oshawa for another early night. It was either a very long and tiring day, or I was feeling the year older that I had just turned.