It’s just another day for 4-year-old Isaac. He goes to preschool three days per week and loves his classmates, and teachers. He takes transit with his mom wherever he goes. And just like any other 4-year-old, Isaac is a huge transit fan. He loves watching videos of trains, buses, and cartoons.
Isaac started riding buses when he was 3-weeks-old, and it helps with his communication skills, says his mom, Pamela Carvajal, who sent The Buzzer blog pictures of Isaac’s transit-themed birthday party!
For Isaac, taking the bus is an adventure, but it is the SkyTrain that is his true love. Joyce-Collingwood is his favourite station! On days that he has therapy, Isaac’s mom takes him on the SkyTrain all the way to Granville and back, as a “treat”.
Taking transit comes natural to this family as seeing Isaac’s love for all things transit, they are even more encouraged to use it.
When Isaac sees a bus approaching a bus stop, he gets really excited, starts clapping and jumping in his stroller. Isaac has Down’s Syndrome and communicates using sign language with his parents.
Pamela says bus operators love interacting with Isaac, and he reciprocates by giving them high-fives! She says some customers also chime in and some have also given him toys at times.
One of Isaac’s favourite past times is to sit in his stroller at a SkyTrain station and watch SkyTrains zoom past him, as he excitedly waves to people and the trains.
Isaac’s parents are grateful that he loves transit because it provides him with an opportunity to engage with outsiders and work on his communication skills. For them, taking transit with their son works as great stimulation therapy. Pamela says she is amazed how he knows where they are in the city – when they go to his preschool, he knows where they have to stop.
One day, she says, they boarded what she thought was the right bus to his preschool, and it was Isaac, who used sign language to let her know they were on the wrong bus!
Given Isaac’s love for transit, Pamela decided to surprise him with a transit-themed birthday party!
It was hard to keep it a surprise, she says, because Isaac recognizes all transit, and TransLink signs and logos.
Pamela also sewed him a Coast Mountain Bus Company bus operator costume using a logo she made herself after keenly noticing operators’ uniforms every time she boarded the bus.
Isaac now feels like a real bus operator, she says.
The saddest part of Isaac’s day is when he has to say bye to the buses and SkyTrain on his way home.
As Pamela says, “I just want to say thank you to every nice bus driver who are always kind and interacting with us. Taking transit totally makes my son’s day”.
The Buzzer blog thanks Pamela, and little Isaac for allowing us to be a part of their transit journey.
Do you have a similar transit-related story you’d like to share? Email The Buzzer blog and we’d be happy to feature it!
Author: Tanushree Pillai