Friday, March 30, 2012

Hippos and zebras and penises, oh my!

I'm on a short vacation with my kids in San Diego. We are staying at a fancy schmancy hotel/resort. And I love it. Without guilt. Yesterday I hung out at the pool with the kids and saw an old friend from high school whom I haven't seen in more than twenty years. See Colleen and me with her daughter Claire here below.

Why Colleen befriended me more than 20 years ago I have no idea. She was cool. I was not. I was painfully shy, I don't think I spoke to anyone at all, in my third high school in less than 3 years. But she took me in for some reason and somehow made me into a little less of a dork. I'm pretty sure her friendship scored me a boyfriend. And it certainly made high school more fun - I went to prom (and drank whiskey), I had people to eat lunch with (I didn't eat but it was better not to sit alone) and I had plans on Friday nights - I was the designated driver when we trolled the streets of Allentown looking for parties while listening to Yaz. Woo hoo! The shyest dork on earth ended up having a little fun, all thanks to Colleeen and her siblings (she had no fewer than a gazillion Irish Catholic brothers and sisters) and her welcoming friends.

Today, I took the kids to the San Diego Zoo. I hate driving around in places I don't know. But I dealt. And we went to the Zoo. I am almost embarrassed to say it but I had moments of near transcendence with my kids at the zoo today. Just moments of pure, unadulterated appreciation. And joy. So grateful to be there with them. To have them be kind to each other. And to laugh.

When we came upon the hippos, Virgil was ecstatic. I love having kids that are young enough to still be super psyched about hippos. Virgil screamed: "Hippos are cool!" Wyatt would not let him have the last word.

"You know what else is cool?!" No. "My mom." I swear I'm not making this up. He was excited to be there, to be together. He was having fun. And he was grateful. This was after a morning of bickering that resulted in Wyatt throwing Virgil's toothbrush on the floor and stomping on it. Crushing it under the heel of his Adidas cap toes. He smashed that plastic green toothbrush because Virgil was giving him shit about not remembering to bring his own. We went from full on sibling battle with tears and breaking things, to a love fest over hippos and mom.

Later, we were looking at zebras. Here is what we saw:

Yes that is a giant zebra penis. It was shocking, to say the least. The weirdest part is none of the other zebras had quite such a display. The others all had normal (or what I'd expect "normal" to be) zebra appendages. This guy was a stud. It kept growing, getting bigger, and then oddly, getting smaller. Sometimes it came down past what I'd call his "knee". You'd turn around for a moment and it would shrink up to match those of his friends. The kids could not stop giggling. Nor could I for that matter.

Virgil said: "Zebras should wear pants, mom." Not sure that would help. This thing was like a third leg. Wyatt said: "He must attract the ladies." He must. But why would an 8 year old know anything about that? So much for my parenting skills. My 8 year old son thinks all that matters is dick size. It's not irrelevant, but why does he even have a point of view here?

So the zoo was fun. And then I got to meet up with my brother and his kids and wife later at the hotel. What more could a girl want in a day.

It was perfect.

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