One of the greatest things about moving is exploring new surroundings. Although I grew up about 35 minutes away from where we are now, everything seems new again through the eyes of our children.
The other day we went to The Aquarium with my childhood friend and her family. Though I've been there at least a dozen times while growing up, I saw a few things I never noticed before. I never noticed they had a "rest area" next to the gift shop. This is where Abby had a chance to run her "being backpacked all day" legs out for a few minutes. I never noticed there were bathrooms on each floor. Grayson's half pint sized bladder appreciated that courtesy very much. And elevators! Did you know that "Special Needs Elevator" can mean two combined families with dripping umbrellas and four twisty children under the age of three? Oh yes it can.
And the aquatic life was different too. Where I once skipped right over to the big money like sharks and jellyfish, this time I had a chance to notice the D Listers: tree frogs shining lime green beneath their heat rocks and freckled coppery snakes coiling around a same colored tree limb. When I bent down to look through the aquariums with Grayon, we were met with a small yellow thing puckering at us like a gilled Angelina. This Pretty hovered and smooched the glass for at least three minutes before darting off. Next were the sting-rays; the gorgeous effortless sting-rays. Grayson found one in a corner, all by himself and according to him, it most likely in "time out." Misery does love company.
The aquarium even supplied a mini TV room! Five minutes before the dolphin show started, we ducked into a small sitting area (with nice long benches) where Animal Planet kept Grayson riveted and not ping ponging through the massive crowd in the hallway. This TV room allowed for a quick reset button as well as a perfectly timed bottle for Abby who was beginning to lose her cool with being toted around like a bagged lunch.
The dolphin show was impressive, or so I heard because I was busy hiking the stairwell with Miss Mt. Everest. We had to give her kudos for her lasting this long, however, and The Husband and I tag teamed so I was able to sit next to a completely ensconced Grayson and catch the last few waves of Baily, the one year old dolphin. I guess it's the mom in me but all I wanted at that point in the afternoon was for Baily to be off the clock and swimming happily back to her baby pool for a nice long nap. It's what my kids needed and precisely what they got as soon as they completed the last leg of our trip: puddle jumping three blocks back to the parking garage.
Can't think of a better way to end a day as seen through the eyes of our children.