Acts of Kindness: A special day at the museum for four-year-old scientist

We’ve asked for your stories regarding what you feel have been acts of kindness in your life. Here is one of those stories:

Henry Choong toils deep in the basement of the Royal B.C. Museum, curating the invertebrate zoology department. Occasionally, he gets out and about, searching for tiny creatures called hydroids. One day, not too long ago, he was lying flat on the dock at McCauley Point in Esquimalt when my four-year-old grandson, Levi, noticed him.

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Levi has autism. He is inordinately interested in the ocean, and all creatures in it, to a degree that most people wouldn’t understand. So, observing Dr. Henry, Levi asked: “What are you looking for?”

This led to a much more involved conversation, one I can’t record because it was over my head, scientific stuff about tube worms and hydroids. But the main point is Dr. Henry invited Levi to the museum and gave him his card. Levi barely slept until we made an appointment to visit.

The day of the visit saw Oma, Momma, two tiny sisters and Levi waiting at the security kiosk for Dr. Henry to meet us. Imagine a four-year-old bouncing up and down in anticipation of his favourite thing. Yes, it was better than Disneyland!

I want to recognize the professionalism, forward-thinking and kindness of all the staff at the museum for giving a special boy a special day. Levi was treated as a fellow scientist, which, to some degree, I see that he is.

It was nothing short of magical. This little boy now has an open invitation to visit the scientists he so dearly wants to emulate. This is the way to promote the future of science!

Linda Barnes

If you want to tell us of your encounter with a random act of kindness, send an email to localnews@timescolonist.com. Include the word “kindness” in the subject field.

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