Accessibility, Art, Cerebral Palsy, London, Notable Links, Our Daughter, Our Son, Parenthood, Photos, Travel

The Tate Modern (and Getting There)

I couldn’t wait to take Sebastian to the Tate. There are two things I love about London: the museums and the markets; ok, there are more than two things, but these rank at the top of my list. Last winter we discovered that Sebastian liked modern art when we took him to the Chagall exhibit at AGO in Toronto. So I was pretty excited about taking him to the Tate Modern. (I also wanted to take him to the Natural History Museum, but knew there wouldn’t be time to do both and the Tate was just a bus ride away.) We decided to take the 26 bus to St. Paul’s Cathedral, have a quick visit (that story comes later) and walk across the Millennium Bridge to Tate Modern.

DSC_3511Walking across Millennium

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It was a gorgeous day. When we arrived to at Tate, it was lunchtime. Ali and Seb went to the outdoor cafe while I had to deal with a poopy pants explosion with Tallula. I wasn’t sure of our lunchtime plan, so I took Lula to the large grassy area in the sunshine nearby to change her. Ali and Seb took a look at the outdoor cafe menu and as they did a middle aged couple also approached. What followed was a very friendly exchange between the woman and Sebastian, via Papa-daddy. It was awesome. She asked about his glasses. Complimented him on his friendly smile. Discussed their love of modern art. It was so fun to eavesdrop. She saw my son for who he is, and didn’t mind that he couldn’t talk. It was totally normal for her to have a friendly chat while waiting in line and it made me happy. As they were leaving, I caught her eye and we looked at each other and smiled. Thankful.

The outdoor cafe was closing up so we headed inside. We were well taken care of by the wait staff. They moved tables so we could sit comfortably, and include Sebastian in his wheelchair. Very accommodating. I was on high alert. I wanted to see how Londoners would react to and treat my son. So far so good. We went to the third floor after lunch and walked through the exhibits. Stopping to be silly (papa-daddy), discuss, and just stare at different pieces of art. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and nobody paid any mind to us. When we have been to the AGO and ROM in Toronto, a lot of folks stare at Seb in his Red Racer. But in London, everyone was too busy doing their own thing. And really, so were we.

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Tallula wasn’t as impressed with the modern art as the rest of us were. We only made it through floor 3 after lunch and a quick trip to the basement, where there is a new exhibit called The Tanks. Pretty dark but pretty cool. We fit a snack and coffee in and we were ready to go. We hoped Seb would have a short nap being carried in the carrier while we walked down Southbank through Borough Market to catch the 55 bus at London Bridge. And he did. And we got to enjoy the sounds, sights, and smells of another one of my favorite areas.

London may be an expensive city, but all the museums are free! So it doesn’t matter if we spend equal time in the cafe and checking out the latest masterpieces. And the early part of the journey getting there. Because sometimes, the journey IS the destination.

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