Posts Tagged ‘ zoo ’

Our World Is Right In Front Of Us And It’s Pretty Good

Friday, March 14th, 2014

3 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

Tomorrow is the big day… We’re going to the Monster Jam show in the morning!

For the first time, you will get to see what happens when we drive past Whole Foods on I-65 in Nashville.

All you know at this point is that the other way on I-65 goes to Louisville, KY where we have visited the zoo a couple of times now; where they have the rhinos.

So I explained to you that going south on the Interstate will take us to a place called Huntsville, AL… where the monster trucks are. (As if it’s a special monster truck city where the monster trucks always are; where they live, work, and play in organized chaos.)

Today you have been deciding which toy monster trucks to take with us on the mini-road trip; hoping to see the “real life” Monster Mutt tomorrow, which is a monster truck that looks like a giant puppy, floppy ears and all.

It’s funny how a family trip to go see monsters trucks run over old cars (or whatever they do) could be such a big deal to the three of us, but it is. It’s a big deal to you, so it’s a big deal to Mommy and me.

This morning Mommy sent me a text that seemed to summarize things, as if in a simple, yet poetic way:

Spring and summer are on their way and we have lots of fun things to be excited about— because our world is right in front of us and it’s pretty good :)

She’s right. When I see you and Mommy in front of me, I see the world and I know that it’s pretty good. Well, actually “pretty good” is an understatement.

Maybe I could use #blessed as a good start. (Yeah, the hashtag makes it even cooler.)

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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I Think I Can, I Think I Can…Ride The Zoo Train

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

2 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

As we anticipated our 2nd trip to the Louisville Zoo, I had been trying to hype up the train ride they have, since we didn’t get a chance to ride it last time.

Your response:

“No, I don’t want to ride that train.”

I didn’t believe you. I figured maybe you just didn’t know for sure what I was talking about.

After all, how could a little boy who is obsessed with Chugginton and Thomas & Friends not want to actually ride a little train around the zoo?

But Z-Day came and you held true to your word: You still didn’t want to ride it, adding, “I scared!”

However, you weren’t given a choice. There we were in line for the train ride with my parents, my sister, my brother-in-law, and your girl cousin who is 7 months younger than you.

You were getting on that train. Whether or not you would allow yourself to enjoy it, that was the part I didn’t know.

For the first minute or so of the ride, you buried your head in Mommy’s shoulder.

Then you heard all the fun happening around and you just couldn’t pretend not to be there anymore. It was nearly immediately that you began screaming with excitement.

We blasted through a series of tunnels, which from what I can remember, sort of looked like the rainbow graffiti-looking artwork on the Coldplay album, Mylo Xyloto.

With the zoo being decorated in a Fall/Halloween theme, there were plenty of other interesting things to distract you from the fact that just minutes before you were somewhat terrified.

I remember we saw some giant spiders and goofy monsters.

You loved the train ride.

It was a challenge for you, though. It placed you out of your comfort zone.

I’m not fully convinced you won’t be afraid to ride the next zoo train you encounter, but at least now I know that you enjoyed the ride in the end.

Thanks for being a brave little toaster. I mean, the little engine that could.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

P.S. To see more pictures of our family road trip, go to The Dadabase’s Facebook page and click on the picture folder, Louisville AdVANture Road Trip October 2013. 

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Warning: Do Not Feed The Goats Your Jogging Stroller

Monday, August 26th, 2013

2 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

Though you’ve pretty much memorized the entire layout of the Nashville Zoo since we bought our family season pass several months ago, it wasn’t until yesterday that we actually bothered to check out the petting zoo area.

I was really surprised when you wanted me to unstrap you from the jogging stroller and even more surprised when you actually wanted to pet the goats with the brushes the zoo provides.

It’s just that I figured you’d probably be a little freaked out by the goats, the way you are fascinated by dogs from afar, then shy away once you actually get close to one.

But no, you totally petted the goats and they were totally cool with you doing so.

The only problem was, the goats were a little too friendly. They really made themselves at home.

Actually, it’s their home, so…

I wasn’t too surprised when we got back to our jogging stroller to learn that one of the goats had finished off your Clif Kid Zbar snack.

He was aiming to get your water bottle but you stood your ground.

However, that didn’t stop another one of the goats from licking off the spilled water on the stroller, leading him to chewing and tasting the stroller itself.

Then he ate a Starbucks napkin you had been using as well.

Lucky for us, we only paid about 20 bucks for that jogging stroller off of Craig’s List. And amazingly, even after the goat taste-tested it yesterday, I didn’t even see any teeth marks or rips in the fabric.

So perhaps you have mixed feelings about the goats:

The good news is, they’re very friendly.

The bad news is, they’re very friendly.

Between the hungry goats and the mutant giraffe man we met yesterday at the zoo, I’d say we had some serious father-son bonding time.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

P.S. To see more pictures of our father/son visit to the Nashville Zoo today, go to The Dadabase Facebook page and find the photo folder called “The Mutant Giraffe And The Hungry Goat.”

 

 

 

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Explaining Mutant Animals To Your Child

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

2 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

We drove away from the Nashville Zoo this afternoon with you asking me, “Daddy, why Giraffe Man? Why he there?”

I attempted to explain to you that he really likes kids and giraffes.

But that just raised even more important questions.

You evidently concluded from my answer that “Giraffe Man” sleeps in the zoo with the other giraffes but has the privilege of walking through the midst of human families at the zoo and having his picture taken with them.

We kept talking about Giraffe Man even after we got home.

I’m pretty sure you want him to join us for dinner in the near future.

At some point, you’re going to ask me if Elmo and Mickey Mouse and Giraffe Man are real.

That will be a sad day for me.

I love it that your imagination leads you to believe that these mutant creatures might actually be part of the real world, instead of people in costumes or controlling a puppet.

As I look at the ridiculous picture of us with Giraffe Man, I sure hope that of all random events you may or may not be remembering for life right now, that you remember this day.

It would be awesome if in a few years from now, you ask me about being at the zoo with me and seeing a giraffe person or something.

Then I can say, “Yeah, that was from when I was training for the half marathon and you and I spent a Sunday afternoon at the zoo together. I ran while pushing you in the stroller throughout the whole zoo and at the end, we had our picture made with a man (or woman) in a giraffe costume.”

I never really know what you’re actually comprehending or remembering at this age. It’s interesting to think about, though.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

P.S. To see more pictures of our father/son visit to the Nashville Zoo today, go to The Dadabase Facebook page and find the photo folder called “The Mutant Giraffe And The Hungry Goat.”

 

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When I Was 2 Years, 9 Months Old, I Became A Brother

Friday, August 16th, 2013

2 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

My mom (known to you as Nonna) texted me this morning to point out the interesting fact that when I was 2 years, 9 months old, it was January 1984.

That’s when my sister (your Auntie Dana) was born. In other words, when I was your age, I became an older brother.

Just so I can put this into perspective for myself, that means that even if during the next couple of years, you end up getting a baby brother or sister, the age difference between you and him or her will definitely be greater than the age difference between my sister and me.

Each month and each year that passes in which you remain an only child, it makes me wonder if you will always be one.

Will you become that “little adult” than only children are often referred to as?

When we go on family vacations, will it just be you in goofy touristy photos like these from the Sacramento Zoo?

I mean… I’m curious, but not that curious.

There’s no sense of urgency, but I when consider I was already a big brother by your age, it does make me think about your fate of whether or not you will have a sibling.

Perhaps I write to you about the subject of “will you or will you not remain an only child?” quite often.

No, not perhaps- I totally do.

But for me, it’s not a subject to be dealt with lightly. For our family, there is a lot of careful planning and consideration involved.

By now, I’m way past caring about anyone else’s expectations of our family growing.

I’m even way past what I perceive in my own mind of what the normal American family is supposed to be; which I suppose the image I have in my head includes at least two kids and a dog.

But we’re not even a “dog family.” Or cat lovers.

We’re not animal people at all! Except for the fact we enjoy going to zoos as a type of a default hobby because our Nashville Zoo Pass is transferable to other major zoos.

Life is unfolding slightly different than I planned it. I always wanted four kids.

Then you were born. And I realized, I feel plenty enough of a dad now.

I feel like I can live my entire life satisfied in knowing I get to raise you and have a lifelong relationship with you.

You may never know what it’s like to be a big brother. Are you okay with that?

 

Love,

Daddy

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