Friday, June 24, 2005

Walking away from the zoo

So, we weren't planning to go to the beach yesterday.

First, Hibiscus is at camp this week. She's doing Synergia camp, which looks like a load of fun. I hope she "finds herself" at camp. She's always been someone who needs independence, and now that she's 11, I really feel it's time she had some extensive non-parental influence. I think this is just the ticket.

Anyway. When Hibi's gone, I always ask Zac what he wants to do. He immediately said, this time, that he wanted to go to the zoo.

I've seriously altered my opinions of zoos, but I try not to overly influence my children's viewpoints overtly--I try to let them come to their own conclusions (at least sometimes....)

So, on our first day without Hibi or Dad, we got some seriously fun stuff done. We went to the farmer's market and got blueberries. We went to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. And we bought some cheap plastic crap made in China from Target, in the form of a light saber that Zac has been pining for ever since seeing his friend's light saber. Even though we've tried to guilt him out of it, he still wanted it, and he had allowance money.

And then we headed to the zoo. There's a long walk that you have to take now, at the New Zoo, from the free parking to the gate. On the long walk, Zac said, "I think zoos are cruel to animals." I started questioning him about that...did he really want to go to the zoo? I said we still had a ways to walk, and he needed to decide by the time we got to the gate. He talked about how he didn't like animals to be caged so they can't get out. When he made his decision not to go to the zoo, I made sure that he understood that us not going wouldn't free all the caged animals. It will at least be a long time before the San Francisco Zoo ceases existence. Zac pointed out that if there is to be change, someone has to start it. I thought it was quite profound for an 8 year old.

So, we didn't even have to backtrack, because right in front of us was the beach. We just passed right by the gate and continued walking to the ocean. Zac had a blast, and it was free. :-)

1 comment:

Jennifershmoo said...

I think kids have a sense that something about the zoo isn't right. We visited the Cleveland Zoo last week, and James kept asking me, "Are they cruel to the animals at the zoo?" I said I thought they did their best to make sure the animals were healthy, but that they probably weren't happy being in enclosures all their lives. The gorillas and orangutans looked especially sad.