Friday, July 15, 2011

Taking My Zoo To The Zoo

On Thursday, we ventured out to the zoo. I had a flashback when I was there of Rick and me sitting at the Ft. Worth Zoo before we had children. We were watching families go by and dreaming of some day having a big family of our own. They all looked so happy, and we couldn't wait to take out kids to the zoo someday. It would be so fun and such a sweet time of bonding as a family.

Fast Forward 15 years to yesterday. We left our house 45 minutes after I had hoped we would. When we arrived at the zoo, one child informs me that he has forgotten to bring the lunch he packed. We tried to get on sunscreen as quickly as possible. We squeezed everyone into the tiny bathroom of the gift shop in order to buy ourselves some time before we had to stop again. One child said, "Mama" 3,247 times while we were there. I had to pull 75lbs. in the wagon up and down those mountains. They were complaining about being hot. I also saw many other families struggling through their days. It was not the pretty picture I had envisioned 15 years ago.

I think we were looking through rose-colored glasses back then. I know it had to be hotter in Ft. Worth than it was here yesterday. I can't believe we didn't see all the kids throwing fits and parents losing their cool on that day. I am sure now that the moms were exhausted and desperate looking.

Either way, I wouldn't trade where I am for the world. I know many people are amazed that I would take 6 kids to the zoo, alone. To me, it is just my everyday life. I can stay home with six kids and have them destroy the house and fight with each other, or we can go to the zoo, get a tan and some exercise, and see some cool animals. Nowhere is perfect. I choose to expect it to be difficult. If it isn't then, BONUS. If it is, I am prepared and not devastated that our day was not ideal.

With 6 kids, there is always someone not happy. Just look back at the picture above. Isaiah was not happy in that moment. Oh, well, we took the picture anyway. If every picture I had of my children had them all smiling all the time, that would be fake.
I love how close we can get to the giraffes
A quick pose with Laila
A bit blurry, but we can't leave out hippos
Lovin' the baby orangutan!
He posed for me. Seriously, he did!
Camera hog
I can totally see Sam as a surfer dude some day.
She was a trooper.
Challenging and enthusiastic or maybe I should say enthusiastically challenging!
Cody had his head phones on the whole time.
This was his way of coping with the sensory overload that the zoo presents to him.
It really was a good day. I am just not going to candy coat it to make you think that things always go smoothly around here. That only sets us up for failure and you up to believe that your imperfect life is somehow less than it should be.

Can we all just agree that just because it is hard, doesn't mean it is not worth it? Actually over the last 15 years, that is one lesson I have learned for sure. The hardest things reap the most blessing and reward in my life.

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