I took the kids to the zoo today. We. Had. A. Blast.
We have a couple of days off school and Trent took the big boys camping. The small fry were feeling left out as they watched Chris load up the four wheelers and David pack the tents and Eddie haul out sleeping bags. They watched forlornly as the campers headed to the mountains.
Me, not so much. I'm happy that they get to go four-wheeling and camp out in the mountains. I'm happy they get to spend some good guy-time together. And I'm glad I get to sleep in my own warm bed because it's gonna be cold up in them thar mountains tonight!
It's only fair, though, that we do something fun while the big boys are gone. So we went to the zoo. We grabbed a neighbor girl and headed out, playing "I spy" and the alphabet game all the way there. They played at the splash pad and drenched themselves, then ran from one exhibit to another, laughing and giggling constantly. It was so fun to see them have uninhibited fun. If their older siblings had been around, there would have been plenty of shushing and telling them to grow up. But not this time. We were delightedly little kids. We barked at the seals and growled at the bears and chirped at the birds. And we ran and skipped and hopped and acted like a bunch of little kids, which we were... or most of us were.
At the beginning of the trip, I wished I had brought my camera to capture the look of terror on Freddie's face when he thought the water was going to splash on his dry tummy. I wished I could catch the excitement of three little human eaglets perched in a nest. I wished I could forever keep the long shadows following four children skipping along the path. But then I remembered that when I spend my time taking pictures to save memories, I often forget to make them. I don't have the time left over to do the doing when I'm doing the shooting. I'm glad I left the camera at home so we could just play and enjoy... and be in the middle of the living.
On the way home, they kept busy in rush hour traffic by mimicking different animal sounds. After they ran out of animals, Margaret piped up with, "Let's hear your very best singing voice!" She began to serenade us with an impressively clear vibrato, and Angel joined in with her favorite operatic warble. Freddy nearly broke down, crying that he couldn't think of anything to sing. From the back-est backseat, Georgie joined in with an enthusiastic... pterodactyl. It was anything but melodic, but so unexpectedly funny. After a moment, when they changed to new sounds, he protested, "I haven't had my singing turn!" As soon as he had our full attention, he began... beat boxing.
Never a dull moment with these children. I'm so glad I have them and the smiles they constantly give me. All's right in the world when you are in the middle of a child's hug - or two or three or four. It makes me fell like I'm in the middle of the Lord's embrace.
We didn't get a single picture, and that's just fine by me.