The FUN Has Begun

Sometimes I think all we need to do is see something on 'paper' and we get our act in gear. At least that's how it works with me. We had a fabulous fun free family weekend.

Saturday Jack took us to the Brookfield Zoo (for free I might add - gotta love those Chicago library passes - perhaps one of the only monetary perks of living in Chicago) and the kids loved it. It's quite a huge zoo but we made good time and got throught a tonne of the animals. All the big ones - you know, the cats and bears and elephants and rhinos and monkeys and of course the reptile house (ya, I wasn't thrilled about that one).

And you know what Maddie's favorite animal was? Grab ahold of your chairs people. This is what she said. The wounded tiny baby bird she found during our lunch break. Hmmmmm. Of all the major things we saw, this was her favorite. I just had to smile; that is SO her. She has such a heart for animals and the fact that this little bird was hurt and lonely and her mommy was nowhere to be found was of quite a bit of concern to Maddie. So much so that she and I had to track down a park ranger (sounds more adventurous than zoo keeper) and tell her all about the bird and ask if she could do anything to help. We were assured by Ms. Jessica that she would go right over and find the bird and bring it to the animal hospital. She told Maddie she was very proud of her for looking out for the bird and helping it to live.
(The birdie is in the bottom left corner of the picture, right beside her foot.)

I love little glimpses into Maddie's almost-6-year-old heart. She's a nurturer. She and her friend, Kasia, tried to make a little nest for the birdie, gathering up little twigs and putting it around the bird, to protect it from the "mean" seagulls that were trying to eat it. She wanted Jack to feed it a little tiny piece of cracker, so he did. As we walked away, Maddie kept asking question after question wondering why the seagulls would want to eat the little bird. Ya, trying to explain the survival of the fittest just wasn't working.

Well into the evening she kept wondering how the birdie was, and if the zoo keeper had found the birdie. We had a mini-lesson on trust, and the fact that we had to trust that Ms. Jessica was going to keep her word and go and save the little birdie. Maddie wasn't so sure about that, but I tried to assure her that it really was out of our control so we were going to assume that she would do as she said and we would trust that she did.

We really had a delightful day, complete with beautiful weather and a yummy picnic. We happened upon church friends (go figure in a crowd that size) so they ate their picnic with us, too. How fun - an added bonus.

And then came Sunday. Late in the afternoon we headed over to Lake Michigan for a bbq with Auntie Joy. The kids loved the sand and at one point Maddie was giving Jackson the finer points of making a 'sand angel'. And then today she said to me, "Why do I have sand in my hair?" Hmmmm. Let's think about that, sweetie.

Jack takes great care of us. Did I mention he got Chinese food for supper and two movies to watch once the kids went to bed, including a chick flick? Now that's a great husband. Thanks, hun!


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