In Quest of Memories
Let’s face it; we all want to expose our kids to interesting experiences so they can have some great memories. We want to snap the perfect picture and show off what a fun time our kids have. I think that most new parents spend an awful lot of time looking for great places to take their kids in order to build up experiences for their babies and toddlers. I know I was guilty of this – and still am to this day – just because I want my kids to see the world around them and to always see new things.
The problem is when parents get so frantic and determined about getting a great photo or exposing their kids to something interesting and different that they forget the reality of the situation. I have a great example of this that I witnessed the other day.
Our city has one of the best zoos in the nation, so I take my kids there often. It’s especially nice to walk through the jungle area during these cold winter months because we can shed our heavy coats and wander through a really good replica of various jungles throughout the globe. One of the best things about the jungle at our zoo is the fact that some of the animals roam around relatively free; the zoo apparently knows how to keep certain animals back from the public using ponds and barriers, so it’s a really interactive experience that even the youngest kids can enjoy.
When we were there the other day we walked past a set of branches that had a monkey-type animal perched on top. I’ve walked through this jungle about a million times with my kids so I knew right away that this wasn’t quite right. Apparently the animal got past the barriers and found the walkway for visitors. I immediately grabbed my kids and pulled them back, but a dad from the family behind us got all excited and shoved his young son up next to the animal.
First his son recoiled, then the dad pulled him back in front of the animal. Then the animal swiped at his son, the son jumped away, and the dad actually pushed his son back so he could get a photo. At this point we were scurrying away to make sure my kids didn’t get some bizarre primate injury that would be really hard to explain to the emergency room staff, but I was still amazed that this dad was so concerned about getting a picture of his son with the animal that he completely disregarded the obvious threat the animal posed.
I’m assuming the kid came out of it all okay because it seems to me a kid injured by a wayward zoo animal would make the news.
I think that sometimes parents get so excited at the prospect of getting a perfect picture or having the perfect experience that they might totally miss the bigger picture. I would hope that I would never put my kids in harm’s way in an attempt to get a fantastic photo, but I can see how people can easily get carried away.