I took the kids to the zoo today. I made it my goal to shake off as much of the Type-A preparedness and overthinking and pressure and just *be*. I did a pretty good job of it, too, excepting the part where I felt the need to blog about it at bedtime. But fresh content benefits you, too, so we'll all get over it.
The little guys and I haven't been to the zoo since early spring, which is a crying shame and mostly due to a long and aggravating series of vehicle-related inconveniences. My birthday is tomorrow (woo!) and this was part of my gift to myself: a stress-free day out with them, where we would not worry about any "shoulds" and just go where our desires took us. I even opted to not pack my typical "Mom" bag. No backpack stuffed with lunch and snacks and jackets and Band-Aids. Not even my fannypack or (say it ain't so!) camera. Just a handful of cash and my car keys. Traveling light felt good. And it freed me up emotionally in some strange way as well.
Despite some doom-and-gloom weather forecasts, the day turned out to be simply gorgeous. Warm, but not hot. Gentle breeze. Mostly sunny...a few threatening clouds, but nothing fell during our whole visit. We took our time and were so relaxed. Not so into the tigers today? Okay, we'll skip them. Want to spend an extra 20 minutes watching the sleepy flamingos doing stretches? No problem, we're not on a schedule. And YES, you may climb the model termite mound. Again. :)
We stumbled upon a few "ask the expert" presentations, so that was pretty cool too. We got to touch the pelts of some big cats (from deceased exhibit animals) and watched a presentation about a few of the smaller critters, including a gorgeous horned owl. So yay, good day! I dropped way too much money on heat-lamp-destroyed lunch that made me feel icky, but it was still better than stressing myself about packing lunch and then hauling it around. And it eliminated the whining about the PB&J when we're at a picnic pavilion surrounded by kids eating hot french fries. I certainly didn't hear any complaints from my dining partners this afternoon!
We had a few grouchy moments, but snacks and piggyback rides seemed to help quite a bit. We spent a relaxed time at the play area and I even said yes to one of the few "rides" (a log boat that circles a koi pond). And then on our way out I blew the remainder of my cash on souvenirs, just because we *never* do that.
In other words, THEY had a good "Mommy's birthday". Which really, is a gift for me. ;)