Yesterday was the first official day of spring and Mother Nature decided to pull out all the stops. It was 70 degrees, sunny, and heart-stoppingly gorgeous. Heading to the zoo was the only reasonable response to such splendor.
We hadn’t been to the zoo with Miss Mouse since fall and it was fun to see how much more engaged she was this time. While she still had some trouble with far away animals if they didn’t move (I fear she missed the tiger entirely), she was enchanted by zebras and elephants and several others.
But what she liked most of all was the aquarium. She eagerly charged from tank to tank, pressing her hands (and nose) to the glass whenever possible and gazing rapturously at the sea life before her.
While we were in the aquarium, we witnessed every parent’s worst nightmare — a mom who couldn’t find her four year old daughter. The aquarium is basically an enclosed loop and the mom came through twice, looking for her little girl. The first time through, you could tell she was mostly irritated that her wee one had wandered off. On the second lap, she was panicked. The note of sheer terror in her voice as she called her daughter’s name zinged every maternal nerve in my body and I immediately teared up for no good reason.
As far as I know, she rounded up the miscreant, but I noticed I wasn’t the only one holding onto my child more tightly after that.
Sadly, the polar bears were being uncooperative and so we didn’t bother going into the underwater viewing tunnel. It is my goal in life to someday be in that tunnel when they are swimming over. I realize that they only spend about 10% of their time in the water, but Some Day I am going to time it right!
We had arrived at the zoo shortly after it opened and, boy, was that the right decision. By the time we left, the line to get through the gates was hundreds of people long and I suspect the hapless families at the end had a good 30-45 minute wait ahead of them before they even got in. Apparently, everyone else had the same good idea that we did!