Thursday, August 25, 2011
To me one of the great perks that is part of parenting is watching your child experience the wonder of a place. A great example is seeing Disneyland for the first time. There are so many times when we can get excited about a place again purely because we are getting to experience it with out kids for the first time.
In late elementary school the Monterey Bay Aquarium become something that existed in my mind. It was one of these amazing places that even though I was a cynical tweener seemed magical. Over the years for some reason that place never lost it's magic to me.
I grew up in the Bay Area and had assumed that even though I didn't live there anymore, I would be visiting often. This has turned out not to be the case, sadly, and after a five year absence we finally made it to the Bay Area again this summer. The last time we were there Thing Two doesn't even remember and Thing One only remembers a plane ride. This trip was going to most likely be one of the few trips where there the Things would be able to experience wonder, though they are great sweet kids I know the years of indifference at family vacations are nipping at out heels. This trip though could be a chance to show them the parts I loved about California and I could think of no more important place to take them than Monterey Bay Aquarium. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a place that I have seen adults in awe of and I hoped this would be the Things experience of it also, I hoped they would love it as much as I did at that age.
They loved it and then some. The Things loves the huge tanks and sea life and mammals they got to see. Thing Two has a deep love of otters, since about 2, and I think we could have left him by that tank all day and he would have been content. We did the fish feeding tour and though both Things are highly shy they were enthralled learning about what all the different fish eat and how the aquarium goes about feeding them.
In a moment I was transformed from a strained mom hoping no would would go berserker in the gift shop to all smiles seeming the wonder in their eyes, and sometimes that can be all it is about, the wonder in their eyes.