I’ve been taking the kids to the zoo lately at least once a week. It’s so close to us and so well-designed and Jonah loves it and there’s no laundry there for me to fold.
Because I am still a new mom of two and it takes me 7 hours to get us out of the house, I often end up at the zoo just an hour before closing. I love those afternoons when the late time of day and overcast chill and threat of rain has driven most of the visitors away. It is something else to feel like a place like that is almost yours alone. And because I know it’s always there close by, I have started to have us just visit a few animals at a time. It feels so novel to me to not try to take a whole place in, to not rush along.
We stand in front of the giraffes or chimpanzees for what can feel like a whole hour. We talk about what each animal is doing and eating and thinking. We laugh at the silly pigs and remark at the tortoise’s resemblance to a beloved book character and promise that no matter what, we will locate the camels. Often we talk about what we’ll eat for tea if we ever make it to the cafe.
On a recent visit, this rainbow stopped me in my tracks.
I stood there forever – staring, smiling. I knew Jonah was tired and not even looking up at the sky and so the marveling was left to me alone. Other people stopped and collectively we had that disbelief that people get when they see rainbows even though there is a scientific explanation for them and they’re actually pretty common.
Then it turned into a DOUBLE RAINBOW.
And then on a wholly different day of the week at a friend’s house, we saw ANOTHER rainbow.
And it made me grateful to live in a city with just the right ratio of rain to rainbows.
Until I get grumpy.