The pictures are of happy kids enjoying the Ontario Science Centre but the real story is that I drove to Toronto.  Anyone who knows me knows that I have a real fear of driving in unfamiliar cities, especially large ones like Toronto where it’s easy to get lost.  I have no natural sense of direction so getting lost is a very real possibility for me.  My fear is an irrational one though; I’m afraid of getting hopelessly lost.  This fear is so real that when I do miss a turn or find myself unsure of where I am I have something like a panic attack.  I start gripping the steering wheel, my heart starts racing, I break out in a cold sweat and I have been known to start crying.  It’s silly but this reaction in me is so uncomfortable that I choose not to go to many places just so that I don’t have to run the risk of the above scenario.  I don’t like this about myself.  It really makes no sense.  No one gets hopelessly lost.  There is always a way out and given enough time, wrong turns and asking for directions I know that I can find it. 

I decided today to face this fear.  D and P were delighted with my pronouncement this morning that we were going to Toronto.  I think that they could hardly believe it.  They know first-hand how difficult it is for me to drive in unfamiliar places.  I did get lost in Toronto.  Very early on, I had no idea where I was but I didn’t panic!  I accepted the reality that I didn’t know my way, pulled off at a Chapter’s, bought a map (which really didn’t help me too much) and talked to two very friendly women at Chapter’s who were good at giving directions and encouragement.  We laughed a bit and then found our way to the Ontario Science Centre (even though we had initially thought of going to the Royal Ontario Museum!).

D and P had a great time at the Centre.  There are a lot of hands-on acitivities and they were gung ho to try them all.  Fortunately for us, there weren’t too many people there so line-ups were minimal.  We even got to take in an Imax movie on Hurricane Katrina.

This story even ends well.  I wasn’t sure that I would be able to find my way back home after the round-about way we had gotten to the Centre.  I took my best guesses and amazingly they were all correct.  Wonder of wonders!  Even the boys said, “Wow mom, you’re getting better at this!”  We made it back home without one wrong turn!  You know what that means – I think we’ll be going back to Toronto for more fun in the future.

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