Monday, November 16, 2009

The Zoo on a Perfect Fall Day.

It rained on us as we unloaded the car Saturday morning. Not a harsh rain, nor the typical fat raindrops that smell like dust which we tend get in Arizona. But a cool air, misty whisper of rain. Luca giggled like a maniac, apparently made giddy by cool wet weather just like her Mama. Rohan was strapped into the stroller with a red hoodie and a soft green blanket, content and warm from the nap he'd taken on the drive over.

Mornings like this, you almost forget that living in Arizona is like living at the crossing of hellhole and shit-dump for at least 5 months of the year.

The zoo was pretty crowded this weekend, overrun with little girls in blue and green and brown vests, treasure-like maps with clues about where to go next spelled out in riddle. They had knapsacks slung over shoulders, weary pack-moms tagging after them. Ocassionally we'd see a crew led by a chipper young thing in hiking boots and a perky ponytail, no doubt the mom who gave up her usual Saturday morning of elliptical at the gym or hiking outdoors to schlep her little Princess and the Princess's Troup-mates up and down the hills and to every corner to the zoo. Luca was fascinated with these older girls, skipping around giggling and laughing at the rhino as it pooped for an audience. She was simply enamored with them, and everytime we'd come across of crowd of them, she would lean out the side of the wagon and stare wide-eyed, smiling on reflex when she saw them smile and letting out a giggle when a cluster of them would walk by laughing. I watched them too, all too aware that someday in the not-too-distant future that will be her, jumping in some other mom's mini-van to go explore the furthest reaches of the zoo with her friends and not with us. :::Lump in throat:::

But in the meantime, in the present day which I've promised myself I will live to its fullest, it WAS us she wanted to be with. It was her Daddy's shoulders she sat on, high above the heads of all those bigger girls, smug in the confidence that she's HIS and he is HERS. It was my hand she kept reaching for, asking me to hold onto hers while I pushed the stroller and walked next to her wagon. It was me she laughed at and called "MAMA-MISA!", a nickname she came up with all on her own.

And we had a blast together, the four of us. And I think the giraffes liked us too.


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