My Son, The Zoo Animal Heckler
2 years, 6 months.
Twenty years ago in 1993, as a 12 year-old boy, I got to see Jurassic Park in the movie theater with my dad. It was the most life-like experience I’ve ever had in regards to believing I was actually seeing real dinosaurs.
As for you, your version of that happened last weekend when Mommy and I took you to the Nashville Zoo. You finally got to meet a real “dinosaur,” as promised. (An iguana, to be exact.)
Though you enjoyed finally getting to see one, as promised and hyped up, you told me your favorite animal was actually, of all exotic things, the turtle.
(Maybe it’s because our last name is Shell and turtles have a shell?)
You brought a red lowrider truck with you as your companion.
Somehow, from the beginning of our zoo visit, you assumed that in order for the thing to be legitimate or official, you were obligated for each zoo animal to see your truck.
It was like getting your passport stamped. You had to have each new animal hear your offer to play with them.
Impressively, we ended up seeing every animal in the entire zoo in an hour and 25 minutes. Your concept of going to the zoo is like mine of going shopping: Get in, get it, get out!
But of course, along the way, you did have time to unintentionally (?) heckle the zoo animals:
“Hey Tiger! I ride you?”
“Hey Meerkat! Wanna play with my red truck?”
Fortunately, you never seemed too bummed out when the animals stared in the other direction while you sincerely tried to befriend them.
Oh well, we ended up buying a family season pass to the zoo, so this wasn’t your only chance to befriend the (hopefully) enchanted creatures of the forest.
Most importantly, you still believe that dinosaurs are alive and well.
I care less about you losing faith in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.
Or even Mickey Mouse.
But if you still believe that dinosaurs exist, I believe I can assist in keeping your childhood wonder alive even longer.
Randomly enough, the zoo helps with that.
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