Posted by: Susan | August 16, 2012

The zoo and a life lesson

Big brother Derek surprised us with a 64 hour visit.  Yes, I count the hours he is here.  I love having him here because he interacts with April, Jake and Sam on a different level than I do.  They will listen to Derek’s advice.  They love to play frisbee, or soccer, or swim with Derek.  Going places with him is an adventure.  Going with me might just border on boring although I think I am fascinating.  On Friday we headed to the zoo where the theme at every turn was the Olympics.  My type A personality tried not to rush anyone but when we got there, with only 20 minutes before show time, I started to push everyone to move faster, take this short cut, get in this line.  I wanted the best seat for the cheetah run.  You know, a seat that is actually in the shade.  Derek lovingly reminded me we weren’t racing and it was OK to slow down.  Even I listen to advice from Derek.  Here is another family hurrying to get a good seat.  They must have walked slowly because they had to sit in the sun!I wish I could show you a fabulous picture of the cheetah run but it happened too quickly.  Here is a great shot of an ocelot jumping.  This was during the pre-run show that featured different types of cats and a wart-hog!  Little known fact…..I once owned an ocelot.  That story is for another post.After the show I ambled through the zoo and enjoyed my 4 kids and the Hunk as we viewed the many different animals.

I pondered the importance of slowing down in our fast paced life and have to agree with Derek.  Everything doesn’t need to be done at warp speed.  He also suggested that I not repeat myself so often.  Does anyone else give instructions to their kids over and over only to be ignored?  Again he was right.  That is why I love it when he comes to visit.  A fresh pair of eyes to study our family dynamics and offer suggestions on how to do things in a better way.  Derek also gives me lots of encouragement.

I took everyone to see my favorite exhibit.  Behind the reptile house at the Cincinnati Zoo is a small area set up where the tortoises roam free and you can walk among them as long as you stay on the path.  I love these animals because they move slowly and are very curious.

Slow down but stay curious!  Thanks Derek for that great life lesson.


  1. So good to see photos of Derek—-a great young man!!

    • I can’t believe I won’t see him until Christmas. I know it must be hard having Matt so far away.

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