Thursday, May 1, 2014

Throwback Thursday: The Zoo in 1996 & 2014

Dear Em,
Growing up all over the country, there is not really one place that I can share with you that was home. Home has always been wherever my family is. Your daddy grew up right here in Rhode Island. It is & always will be home to him, & we love to take you to some of his favorite places from when he was growing up. He really gets a kick out of seeing you do some of the things he did when he was little.

While it seems like I grew up a little bit everywhere, I actually lived not far from where we live right now for a little while. While sharing my childhood experiences are rare, it is fun to watch you experience a few adventures I experienced when I was younger.

On a fall day, freshly scarred from a break-up with the love of my life that moment (I thought I would never get over it & love again, but alas, I did...& then I got over that & loved again...& then I got over that & loved again...Ha! Being a teenager is such a funny adventure), I went to Roger Williams Zoo with my family. We joined (Miss) Julie & her family. In the middle of my teen-aged drama, I forgot about it all for a day & had a lot of fun with my family & friends.

It's kind of crazy that now we have careers. We're moms. We're aunts. We're Uncles. Our children are best friends.

A couple weekends ago, Daddy & I took you to the zoo with your best friend (Miss Julie's daughter) & we met up with one of my other childhood friends & her family. The zoo has changed so much since 1996. There aren't any polar bears (or even any penguins at our last trip), but there is The Big Backyard. There, you had fun playing music, swinging, playing in tunnels & climbing.

There's also a fun area to play in the water. On a summer day, it is exactly what we need to cool down after walking through the zoo. On a 60 degree day, you had a blast running through the water & then got angry at me because you were cold & I didn't have a dry change of clothes for you. Hey, I didn't tell you to run through the water! I was just the idiot parent laughing & taking photos of it.

Do you see the parents in the pictures with their mouths dropped open like "what crazy person is letting their kids run through the water when it's only 60 degrees outside?" Yup, Daddy & I are those crazy parents. I may have used the bathroom drier to try get your clothes from sopping to damp & made due with the dry clothes we did have (little S wore my jacket for the rest of the trip). And because it's the best thing to do when you have two wet & freezing children, we bought you Dels. Dels was not a part of my childhood, but I'm so glad it's part of yours!

After that, we checked out the animals at the zoo. It made my heart so happy to see you having so much fun with my childhood friends' kids.

By the end of the long afternoon, your clothes were mostly dry & you kids were tired & hungry & cranky...except for little S. She was just happy to be along for the adventure. I have high hopes for age six.

It's so fun to think about how much the zoo has changed in almost 20 years...& how much I have changed. Ha! Then & now, it's so nice to see how many smiles it brings to little loves.

I love you so,

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