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Personal Space

Took the boys to the zoo today. That was cool. I haven’t been to the zoo in…what…a week!
Seriously, you can never get enough zoo time. Raphael and I went for a few hours last week while Tre and Max were at VBS (that’s Vacation Bible School, you heathens). But THE DAY we were there they were opening a new exhibit – Predator Ridge. Sounds cool, no? However, it was open to the public after the ribbon cutting ceremony at noon, and Raphael and I had to leave at 11:30. Predator Ridge sounded enticing, but not quite enticing enough to leave two boys sobbing piteously in the church parking lot, wondering where mom was.
Anyhow.
We went back today, figuring a week after the grand opening would be a safe. Time for the crowds to subside, right?
Wrong.
There were people simply everywhere. I couldn’t turn around without whacking some child in the head with my zoo backpack. No less than four times Max ended up standing on the other side of a LARGE SIZED man, freaking out because he couldn’t see me. (This did not, by the way, convince Max to stick close to me. I tried explaining to him that if he didn’t dance off, completely oblivious to me and his brothers, twirling around and singing a song to himself, then he wouldn’t lose us quite so often. This suggestion was met with the Max glare of non-comprehension.)
So although the weather was perfect for the zoo, and Predator Ridge is (as suspected) very cool, I can’t say that I enjoyed the zoo all that much today. TOO MANY PEOPLE.
I realized that I’m spoiled, as a homeschooler. I rarely drive anywhere during rush hour. I don’t go to the grocery store during peak hours. We attend museums and the like during the weekdays – except never on Friday. There are always huge school groups on field trips on Fridays. I’ve gotten used to the calm of wide open spaces, echoing halls down which to chase Raphael. I like to meander, and crowds don’t allow that. Add a whole passel of people to what I consider MY ZOO, and I get downright pissy.
On the other hand, tomorrow we’re going downtown for lunch with Dad. I expect downtown to be crowded, so it doesn’t bug me. I keep an iron grip on some portion of Raphael and constant visual contact with Tre and Max (no mean feat), and it feels like an adventure. Many of the downtown hipsters don’t feel that way about us, though. We receive many alarmed looks. Young twenty-something year old men especially tend to inch away from us, as though family were a communicable disease. I find it highly amusing.
Turnabout, after all, is fair play.

Comments

Keri

Goodness yes. Field trips as a homeschooler were the best. We took this cross-country trip visiting State Capitals and museums and art galleries and anything Keli saw in the AAA guide that piqued her interest one September that was so fantastic. We spent three weeks just driving and stopping and having whole places to ourselves. We could wander in them for HOURS and she could look at a single exhibit for as little or as long as she wanted.

It was so.dang.cool.

Tiff

What did they have on display at Predator Ridge? I've been planning on visiting the two zoos here in MS and just haven't managed it yet. I'm a bit scared after the Dallas Zoo gorilla escape.

shannon

Ahh- zoo time. I was a zookeeper, and I still can't get enough zoo goodness. The summer crowds can get pretty insane though... For my summer fix I stake out all the little zoos in Jersey - even at their most crowded, they don't ge too bad - nothing like the Bronx Zoo, anyhow... :) Hugs!

Kira

Actually, we didn't see much of Predator Ridge, because that was where the crowds were concentrated. But I did see a whole pride of lions, in the same display as some hyenas. That was cool.

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