Last year we took my son to the Bronx Zoo and learned the animals weren’t the main attraction. He was always excited about trips to the zoo but when we got there he would yell “All Done” when we tried to stop and look at the animals.
We decided to follow his lead and learned why Simon loves the zoo. It’s not about looking at dark-colored furry beasts standing still, far away from the fence, but all the things that we don’t get to see everyday.
We decided to take another trip enjoying the nice weather and whatever Simon found interesting. This time, although he did check out the giraffes and sea lions for a moment, he pulled us around the park to way more interesting exhibits.
Like the girl blowing bubbles in front of the gift shop. And riding on the bug carousel. There were also really cool waterfalls in the Congo. We walked through the dark hallways of the Mouse House, lit by rectangular lights near the floor. Madagascar and the bird exhibit had rubber strips hanging in doorways instead of doors that swished and swung with each passerby. And of course, we stopped to spin the giant wheel on the old-time popcorn stand and the hand cranks on every single souvenir coin machine.
My son constantly reminds me that his experiences are his, not my expectation of experience.
I will always try to point out new things to expand his world, while he shares his excitement over a world that I nearly over-looked.
*If you have any concerns about your child’s development, contact your pediatrician, or school district special education department for an evaluation.*
Previously posted at Hudson Valley Parent Magazine.