Sunday, January 4, 2015

Introducing Simple Joy Sundays

Later I'll go more into the convoluted reasons this blog has been so sporadic. For now, I'm following through on my new hope for 2015: regular postings.

Enter: Simple Joy Sundays.

Watch each Sunday for a brief post about one of the little moments worth capturing. After all, that's the only aim of this particular nook on the web. To pull down a few golden moments as they race through the ether and pin their wings to the cork board for future appreciation.

We've had a blissful New Year. Beginning Tuesday with our tearful reunion after a bittersweet send off for my Mimi and continuing through the turn of 2015 and the wonderful bonus holiday weekend, we've had six days of joyful connections.

But I can't (or won't) try to log them.

Instead, envision the command center of my kitchen. The quiet was only interrupted by the wheezing of my over-worked coffee pot. The kids played down stairs as I whipped up my favorite granola pancakes to fortify my bruised and worn out girls (they skied for the first time yesterday, an hours-long adventure that thrilled and exhausted them).

Suddenly the door from the basement banged open, followed by a burst of enthusiastic conversation. Max, Maya (and her two dolls), and Elliot (carrying her three dolls) crowded around me, handing me small, handmade tickets for a trip to the zoo.

"Hey mom, can you do that thing where you turn your computer into a zoo for us?" Elliot made the request. With her big, lash-heavy eyes and her missing front tooth, she has mastered the art of making sweet requests, even when she omits the "please."

We played this zoo game several times last winter, when the blizzards kept us in, and our longing for quick trips to Como Zoo made us homesick for the city. We fired up the old Dell and took a virtual tour to any zoo with a live animal cam.

But last winter, our virtual zoo tours were completely orchestrated by yours truly.

Today, the kids made the event their own!

It's remarkably easy to virtually visit the zoo. First, pull up the San Diego Zoo live cams (but this morning the creatures were all asleep... too early on the West coast I suppose). Then, visit the web cams at the National Zoo (pandas!). Then it's off to the Monterrey Bay aquarium (we could watch their shark tank all day). Finally, a tour via YouTube of the Miami and Houston zoos, complete with educational narration.

So there I was, with the orangutans and the tapirs, and "nine" kids on a field trip while I flipped pancakes (and we all sampled some). Every time we switched to a different animal, the kids would parade around the house as if they were walking to the next exhibit. The girls would share their vast animal knowledge with their dolls, making up details when they weren't quite sure of them (just like their mother, at the zoo!)

It was a perfect, simply joyful moment.



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