I recently wondered why I had not been the type of mother to frequent the zoo. Had I been neglecting my motherly duty of showing him the beauty of God's creatures? Why have zoo excursions not been a priority over the (almost) 4 years I have been raising these boys?
We went this week and I remembered. The oldest really isn't into animals. And it's not because of a lack of availability, it's just not anything he has shown interest in. He loves trucks, cars, locks, doors, puzzles, action heroes, science museums, things he can touch and move and manipulate (as do all children). But things from afar? Standing and watching? He kept trying to climb into the habitats and unlock any gate or door that seemed to get him closer to that goal. So the zoo for Zane, not such a great fit for him. Which I had a hard time accepting and handling some of the time we were there.
I redirected well beyond the number of times my voice wanted to exert, even administered a time-out by a tree after I held my patience for well over an hour of calling him to return to me once he sprinted further distance than I was comfortable (what?! it was free day, we all know such days invite all walks of life, some not entirely safe to bump into). It was as if he no longer had ears to hear me. He found every nook and cranny that he could climb and sit on from a tree stump to a rock to a wall, from a curb to a fence. While eating dinner that night I asked him his favorite part of the zoo was, thinking for sure he would say THE ICE CREAM! He told me his favorite part was "running around".
As I looked at my pictures I realized I did not take many of all the animals we saw. I realized I sort of understand my son better than my reactions demonstrate. The zoo is exciting for me, too, but not necessarily for the animals. I took photos of him exploring what was interesting to each of us, which was often not including an animal. I enjoy being outside and feeling the sunshine on my skin, as I imagine he does to. I think it's such a joyful feeling to be outdoors and incredibly free, which I imagine is what he might be feeling. I am glad we went, but also know it's probably not the best fit for frequent visits when teaching him to contain his enthusiasm for running around to a limited distance.