At The Zoo

Lately, I have felt exhausted and pulled in many different directions. I guess it’s the normal mom thing. Taking care of the household and chasing an 11-month old all day. Holding up commitments with friends and social dates. Putting a lot of energy into family events and members. Generally, I have been doing a lot of “being there” for others, and not really for myself. I don’t mind any of this — the schlepping, the late nights, the spending — but it is tiring. But I feel like lately, I’ve had a hard time saying “no,” when I probably should say “no.” What can I say? I don’t want to miss out on anything. I don’t want to let anyone down. I want to be everywhere and with everyone. It gets tiring, though, and I needed a day for myself to enjoy a new environment and calm surroundings. So my mom, Madelyn, and I headed up to Santa Barbara to enjoy a beautiful day at the zoo. I was still a mom. I was still schlepping. But for some reason, it felt liberating.

It was actually Madelyn’s second time at the zoo. Bryan and I took her in May with our friends Stefanie and Jeremy and their daughter, Brielle. We enjoyed introducing our daughters, 5 months apart, to the animals and spending time together as families.

We bought an annual pass because I knew it would be a perfect outing for when I needed a mini day-cation away. Earlier in the week when I made the plans to come back with my mom, I knew it would be the necessary refresher for our three generations to escape for the day.

And what’s better than escaping to the Savannah to see the giraffes, Asia to see the elephants, and the Congo to see the gorillas?

We rode the train around the zoo and learned about the behind-the-scenes of exhibits and animals. We enjoyed a yummy picnic lunch from my favorite sandwich shop down the street while overlooking the water to the left and the botanical gardens to the right. The weather was perfect. The air was clean. And there’s something special and empowering about being so close to some of nature’s greatest miracles. It’s humbling to be inches away from beautiful animals and watching them eat, interact, snooze, and play.

Madelyn was too young to understand all of this. But she was happy. And I hope her days at the zoo will leave her in awe of the animal kingdom and love them as much as I do when she’s old enough to appreciate these trips.

My days-old, lingering headache that’s gotten the best of me from recent stress didn’t feel so bad when I realized I got to escape the pile of laundry that waited at home, take a break from planning and organizing, and not feel like I had to say “yes.” Today, I didn’t spread myself too thin.

  1. Mimi
    7/26/2012 11:41 PM

    I loved spending a fun-filled day at the Santa Barbara Zoo & going on “safari” with my 2 beautiful favorite girls!! It was a perfect day. I love you both so much!! Xoxo