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« Birthday party, Oz style | Main | To Calvin, who is five years old today »

Birthday zoo

Weeks ago I thought of what I wanted to do with Calvin on his birthday: A Lego store opened in Michigan last fall, only an hour from our house and, even better, only fifteen minutes from the Detroit Zoo, of which we are loving members. Calvin loves Legos, he loves the zoo, it seemed a no-brainer, and I was right. When I suggested a day trip to him, first to the Lego Store and the to the zoo, he was as near to ecstatic as he gets. I had a brief moment of panic when I pulled into the mall and the parking lot resembled that of an amusement park, but luck was with us and when we ended up parking on the third floor "skyway" (simply because that's where the lane we were in took us) and thus entered the mall on the third floor, the Lego store was on that top level as well. That didn't stop us from taking the escalators all the way up and down a few times, but that's what life is for.

The whole day was a success. We gave Calvin some birthday money and I allowed him to decide how he would spend it. He came home from the Lego store with two new small sets to add to his castle mania. At the zoo we rode the train and I allowed him the choice between riding the train a second time, as he said he wanted to do, and visiting the dinosaurs, which he ultimately decided to do. It was a good choice—as we entered the walk through Dinosauria a docent who was off duty (are they ever if the love what they do?) was just going in as well, and we were treated to a guided tour.

We enjoyed lunch by the polar bears, something Jon and I loved to do before Calvin was born, the last time we enjoyed it alone being just a week before he was born. Five years ago.

The day was overcast but dry and much, much cooler than the previous few days had been. We couldn't have asked for a better day, because who really wants sun on a day at the zoo? Overcast is better for animal viewing and for pictures.

When we came home we enjoyed an impromptu dinner with family to celebrate. It will be the first of two, since the same group with re-gather at our house for Calvin's planned Wizard of Oz party.

Today was everything I needed it to be. Sometimes time can get away from me, and chores and teaching and life can get in the way of my enjoyment of those very things. It was Calvin's birthday, not mine, but having a full day of celebration to remind me that celebrating this life is what everyday is about? That's what I needed. And I got it, thanks to my son and to my family.

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