Canada 2017·What's Your Story

This 9-year-old's view of Canada was shaped by a sudden storm, a trike and a total stranger

Nine-year-old Lindsay Meng writes about a memorable day when she was two — and a kind stranger who saved the day.

'For my mom and me, Canada is defined by how kind the Canadian people are.'

Lindsay Meng, age nine, today at the playground. (Lindsay Meng)

It was an ordinary trip to the playground until the skies turned black...

Throughout 2017, we're asking Canadians, "What's your story?" Nine-year-old Lindsay Meng, of North Vancouver, B.C., shares hers.

This story has two things in it: a very kind Canadian and a rainstorm. If you like both of these things, read on!

My dad was away on a business trip, so it was just my mom, me and the dead, yellow grass waving in the hot summer breeze.

My mom asked me if I wanted to go to the park on my tricycle and I said yes. I was only two back then, so when I say go on my tricycle, I really mean me pedaling five metres and my mom pushing me the rest of the way.

The playground was hot and dry from the scorching sun. The equipment was rusty and the red paint was peeling so much that it looked like a snake shedding its skin. Some people may have cared but I didn't, and the first thing I went for was the slide. I went down super fast. PTOOH! I landed face first on the ground. Thank goodness for the woodchips!

Meng as a toddler on a sunnier day at the playground. (Lindsay Meng)

I played there for awhile and slowly the temperature began to drop. Suddenly, black clouds began to appear.

My mom, noticing the darkening sky, started to pack up our things. She told me that we had to go, but I didn't listen. I begged to stay awhile longer, but that's when the rain began to come down.

If love and kindness were made up of all the rainwater in the world, Canada would be 400,000,000 miles under water.- Lindsay Meng, 9

The choice was no longer mine. My mom picked me up and plopped me on my good ol' trike.

The rain started to come down harder and harder. The sky was now pitch black and covered with ominous dark clouds. Since I was only two, I couldn't ride my tricycle that quickly. We were going MUCH slower than either of us would have liked. By then, the rain was coming down in big, fat, pancake-sized drops.

My mom decided to just pick me up with one hand and the tricycle with another. She tried to run but we weren't any faster than when I was struggling along alone on my trike. Why, because she was carrying an extremely chubby two-year-old (me), as well as a Disney princess trike.

I was crying so hard because I was scared. My tears were like a faucet turned on at full power. Then, the lightning and thunder started. You can imagine that it was a pretty strange picture; a panicked mom carrying her sobbing two-year-old, running down the road, sopping wet with a princess trike barely in her hands.

Thunder crashed above our heads. My mom, in an attempt to get home faster, dropped the trike, picked me up with both hands and ran!

These days, Meng can get around the slide on her own! (Lindsay Meng)

Suddenly, out of the darkness, an angel appeared.

In actual fact, the angel was a lady who had ran out of her home to help us. She picked up my trike and started to run behind us, not knowing where or how far she was going to have to go.

Thanks to her, we got home much faster, and with my trike.

My mom, overwhelmed by this act of kindness, thanked our angel, again and again. It turned out that this angel's name was Phoebe and neither of us will ever forget it.

Mom invited Phoebe in for some tea and to wait the storm out. They had a nice long chat about boring adult things.

Finally, the storm slowly cleared, but I was asleep by then. Later, mom told me Phoebe had left by thanking her for the tea and walked out the front door, disappearing as quickly as she had appeared.

For my mom and me, Canada is defined by how kind the Canadian people are.

If love and kindness were made up of all the rainwater in the world, Canada would be 400,000,000 miles under water.


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