Yesterday was a “special” day, as Ryan tells Jameson. One last Saturday together, just the three of us, before our little family splits up for a bit.
We decided to take Jameson to the San Francisco Zoo. I was a bit nervous, as the tigers there seem to be in the habit of mauling visitors, but hoped the for the best — and that the extra 4′ the zoo added to the wall would be enough to deter even the angriest of cats.
I did my best to think through a day away from the house, and packed snacks, warm clothes (you never know in the city), diapers, drinks, bibs, and the cash envelopes I thought we’d need. (Ryan flips when he thinks about me carrying all of our cash at all times, which means me remembering to grab the right envelope every time we leave the house. Tricky, but not impossible!)
Of course, upon arriving at the zoo, I realized that I’d forgotten:
I knew exactly where the missing items were, and could picture them in the neat little pile on the kitchen table that I somehow walked right by. Oh well. Thank goodness for camera phones, paper napkins, and debit cards.
We brought “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?,” to help make some animal connections for Jameson. That was a great idea, except for how many animals aren’t in that book.
Neither Ryan or I had been to a zoo in years (decades? yeah, decades), and so I think we were just as excited about the first giraffe we encountered as any animal-obsessed child. Jameson loved that the giraffe was chewing, which is the only thing I’ve come up with for giraffes to “do” when we’re looking at picture books. (Do giraffes make noise?)
Monkeys, rhinos, lions, tigers (asleep, thank goodness), peacocks strutting their stuff for totally unimpressed ladies, and bears were among the animals I remember stopping and watching. The polar bears were Jameson’s favorite, and I wonder if it was because he could actually see them. (All of those other brown animals sort of blend in. Good for the wild, bad for the zoo.)
A couple of hours later, dehydrated and full of kettle corn, we loaded ourselves back into the van and decided to head to the ocean. Jameson had never been, and we thought it would be fun for him to see the sand and waves. He, of course, with his adorable sanguine temperament, did not disappoint. We shed our shoes, rolled our pants, and walked over scorching sand to frigid water’s edge. Jameson’s little toes squished and danced and flew off the ground when the edge of the waves reached him. Over and over, he and Ryan ran toward the water, only to turn and run back, laughing, while it chased their feet, lapping at their ankles. A few large waves and a tumble or two later, we headed again to the van to dry off, brush off, and change into the extra clothes that I (fortunately) had remembered to bring.
We drove a bit farther down the coast and ate dinner at Halfmoon Bay, and then headed our van inland, away from the smell of salty air, towards home.
Exhausted and a bit sun burned, we arrived to a little house that has become home (I really think it has.) We played basket ball (of course) in the backyard for a bit, ate ice cream with hot fudge, and then walked to the park to exhaust any last bursts of energy before we, at long last, fell into bed.
It was a very nice, very special sort of day.