Playing Hookie


We didn’t even tell him. Got him dressed and packed into his wheelchair. We even left the house at the same time that he does every day for school, but Liam didn’t go to school yesterday. I had the day off of work, and the weather was right.

Yesterday, we all went to the zoo.


We’ve of course been to the zoo before but we were excited to go during school hours in the hopes that the zoo would be fairly quiet. It was, but not nearly as empty as we expected. Still, we were able to enjoy every exhibit at our own pace and didn’t have to battle through other groups to get Liam right up close, with only a minimal amount of the uncomfortable stares (sadly enough, they’re usually from the other parents more than the children).

There was one animal though, that I was more excited to show Liam up close and personal for the first time than any other, and I knew that no matter the feeding schedule or the weather, this animal would be available for Liam to meet.


If you grew up in Rhode Island, chances are there is a picture somewhere in your parent’s old photo albums of you proudly astride the dog in front of the gift shop at the Roger Williams Park Zoo. I know for a fact that there are pictures of me on this thing along with my siblings and cousins. When we decided on letting Liam play hookie to head to the zoo getting to take this photograph was the first thing on my mind.


Having the time to unhook Liam’s ventilator, feeding pump and oximeter, safely lift him onto the dog’s back and then have the picture taken? Well, that right there was more a more meaningful experience in Liam’s life than one more afternoon in a classroom could possibly bring, and I don’t care what his report card says about it.


  1. I love that you played hookie with your son. My mom used to take me out of school and do fun things with me as a child, and like you said, I learned way more on the adventures we went on compared to what I would’ve learned at school that day. 🙂

  2. We call those mental health days around here. Necessary to keep our sanity intact. Looks like a beautiful day you had!

    By the way. I jumped ship on wordpress. Had to go back to blogger if I was going to do this again. I am making a way bigger deal about this then I need to. that is for sure. Much love form California.

  3. The picture of you and your cousins was not one playing hooky (Auntie Kelly would never have taken you out of school). I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, that you got to do this with Liam!!

  4. Great day and great experience for both of you. I have pictures of my mother on that dog. I have pictures of me, my siblings and cousins on that dog. I now have pictures of my kids on that dog. It is a landmark that reminds of us of so many memories. Thanks for sharing!

  5. You are an amazing family! I have heard about Liam since his birth from my mom (who belongs to Vasa) but just now found your blog. What a wonderful day to play hookey and even better to be at the zoo! Glad to see you had a great day! Looking forward to reading your blog and keeping up on how Liam is doing!!

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