July 24, 2016

Woodland Park Zoo

I made sure that we went to the zoo one last time before we moved. We have been there countless times since we moved up to the Seattle area, since we usually keep a zoo membership. We started going when Kyler and Kacin were Perry and Layla's age! I have so many memories of being there with my children, preschool, and with friends. 

In fact, we have been there so often, the kids are more excited to climb the rocks and trees and play on the playground than they are to see the animals. How sad is that.

Kyler and Kacin are such great brothers. They made sure to help Perry and Layla climb up the trees whenever they needed help.


Standing on top of the bridge waving on the way to the zoo entrance has always been the boys tradition. I think this particular day they got 11 waves and 3 honks back from the cars passing on the 99.

We had great plans to go right away to play at the Zoomasium (the indoor play area). Well, don't you know that we were lucky enough to go to the zoo on the one day that the Zoomasium was closed for a special event. Layla burst into tears when we found out. Within 30 seconds of that, Perry lost it because he wanted to hold the big bag of popcorn we were sharing but I had to tell him no. Two tantruming kids within a minute is quite chaotic. Layla calmed down quickly when I explained the situation, but Perry kept escalating until all I could do was try to contain him on the side of the crowded path while he bit, scratched, thrashed around, screamed, and threw his shoes, etc. 

A whole bunch of thoughts ran through my head while I tried to deal with the situation--"what are all these people walking by thinking? how else do I keep us safe? am I going to have to sit on him to restrain him? I wonder if a zookeeper will walk by and try to help, or kick us out? How long will he keep this up? maybe I should never leave the house again. does it look like I am beating him? Will someone call cps? Man, my arms hurt. I can't let myself cry. I hope my other three kids are ok.... Etc."

What seemed like ages was probably only moments. And then a little miracle happened. Someone called out Perry's name! When Perry saw who it was, it snapped him out of it. It was his former primary teacher. And this guy and his wife are amazing. He knows Perry well. And he is probably one of the few people who could've walked up at that moment and Perry would respond to. Perry curled up in a quiet ball while we talked for a few minutes. He still tried to bite me a few times while we stayed there, but he calmed down enough. It was such a miracle that the Kenyon's happened to be, not only at the zoo, but in that exact spot right when we needed them. And that's one reason I know that Heavenly Father watches out for his children and takes care of them. 

The Kenyon's made sure we were ok and then we parted ways. Eventually, Perry was able to come back to his normal self again and the rest of the zoo outing went as should be expected. 

I'm so happy we got to visit the zoo before we left. We love that place.