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This Wonderful Life

June 25, 2009

This Wonderful Life: Posey and Bee Go to Washington


The lions were characteristically sleepy, and too far away to be all that impressive to the girls. I would not have wanted them to be any closer, mind you. Posey made a clicking sound — the same one she uses to get our house cat’s attention — when I raised the camera to get a photo.

In the Think Tank, an exhibit devoted to exploration of animal thought, tools, language and society, we watched an orangutan cover itself with a sheet, twirl on a rope, then sneak across the floor, still under the sheet, to the other orangutan in the enclosure, then cover its roommate with the sheet, too. Posey and Bee laughed at the antics, which reminded me of the games they play. ``Dad’s home, quick, get under the blanket and hide!’’

In the Reptile Discovery Center, we stopped in front of each window and searched the branches and little ponds for the creatures in the exhibit photos.

``There it is — behind the twigs! He’s in the water with just his eyes sticking out! He’s on the branch and he looks like the leaves.’’

Like everyone who visits the Zoo, we were most excited to see the Giant Pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian. Our last trip to the Zoo was when Bee was 18- months old. Pandas have always been her favorite animals, and we were disappointed that both pandas were solidly asleep when we visited. What do they think they are — lions? I prepared the girls for a similar experience this time, but instead we found them to be very active, lumbering around their indoor spaces, eating bamboo, scratching their backsides on the rocks. We even got to watch them enjoy the supersized frozen fruitsicles their keepers provide. That was my favorite part of the visit.

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This Wonderful Life
  • This Wonderful Life: I can say No, but I prefer Yes If popular culture is any indication, it seems women suffer from an epidemic inability to refuse additional responsibilities. Magazines, self-help books and therapists nationwide offer heaps of advice on how to assert oneself, draw boundaries and generally say No when asked to sign on for those things for which we have little time and less interest.

    November 25, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: I wish someone had told me Disclaimer: Because my son more or less demanded that I stop using him and his life as material for my column back when he was 12 or 13, I want to make it perfectly clear to all my readers (and any legal professionals who are now retained or may be retained at some future time by aforementioned son) that this column is not about him. It’s about me. The fact that he happened to turn 21 on Saturday is mere coincidence. So help me God.

    November 19, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A view through bare branches Every morning, Bee and I stand at the end of the driveway waiting for her bus and we look up into the branches of the elm tree that arches over the drive.

    November 5, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: To Posey on her fourth So here we are, on the other side of 3-years-old, and it seems we both survived it intact. It wasn’t easy, but perhaps it made us both stronger.

    October 30, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A Posey by any other name... A few weeks ago, Posey gave us all new names. Or, to be more accurate, Posey gave us all one new name. Rose.

    October 8, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: Are pork chops really that good? If it seems unlikely for a vegetarian (that would be me) to own a couple of table- bound pigs, it probably seems downright absurd that their names should be Tender and Delicious.

    October 2, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: I sssssseeeeeee you there The first thing you should know is that I used to suffer from a snake phobia. The operative word there is phobia. It wasn’t just a matter of disliking snakes. It wasn’t a fear of being bitten. It wasn’t a simple reluctance to touch their impossibly dry, nimble bodies.

    September 24, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: What’s so funny? My kids, I hope In my experience as a three-time parent, there is something absolutely, spiritually magical about the first time your child cracks a joke.

    September 17, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: Who are these little girls? There are two children in my house who bear a striking resemblance to my daughters. They are adorable, smart and energetic.

    September 10, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A harvest that’s good for the soul Signs of harvest are all around. The afternoon sun glows amber over the fields and the farm stands are filled to overflowing with vegetables and fruit. We’re lucky to live in a place where we can have such an immediate connection to the food we eat.

    September 3, 2009