the zoo

We went to the zoo yesterday. Nina’s first time. I just really love the zoo. And I love warm, spring weather.

And I love the fact that you can get a zoo membership for $69, and after you take your family twice, the rest of your visits are essentially free! I love ride cards–30 $1 rides for $20. I love that parents can ride the carousel for free, as long as they don’t climb on a horse.

I love that when the sign says, “Boat Ride Closed Until Spring,” and you think, “Hey, it’s spring!”, you walk all the way down to the boat “dock”, over the bridge and everything, before you realize the boat ride couldn’t possibly be open because there is no water in the boat canal.

I love watching my girls’ eyes fly open as they witness God’s amazing creatures. Sigh.

I love listening to their sweet, innocent commentaries on the animals and their quirky behaviors.

Poor Gabe. We went to the zoo on a Tuesday morning in April, one of the first warm, sunny days of the year. What kind of people will be at the zoo on a fabulously sunny weekday during the school year? You guessed it! Hundreds and hundreds of SAH moms with their preschoolers. I counted about 10 dads, 8 senior citizens, 460 moms and 1304 kids under 6.

One thing that really hit me was the universality of life. And the fact that I’m not all that unique. Or special. Or fashion-conscious. Looking around, I saw moms who had just as many kids as me, whose kids were just as cute as mine, yet they were skinnier, prettier, had cuter hair and clothes, and made better lunches for their little ones.

STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO EVERYONE ELSE, God has been telling me lately.

I’m trying my darnedest to listen and obey.

10 thoughts on “the zoo

  1. biblestorebrowser

    Looks like my PARENTS are gonna make it to the zoo before we do! Mom wants to go see the tulips in bloom at the Cincinnati Zoo.
    Speaking of my parents, they attended a Passover Seder at their church tonight. What a wonderful way to commemorate this holy time of year.
    Have a blessed Good Friday and Easter.

  2. svdbygrace82

    My bosses name is Teresa, thanks so much for praying for her! 

    And Oh the “woman trap” of comparison, you’ve done it before you even have registered that you’re doing it!  Bo made this comment to me the other week, and it’s really been powerful for renewing my thoughts of beauty.  He said “you are beautiful, all women are beautiful.  and that is Truth, not a perspective.”  Something along those lines… 🙂  It’s been helpful for viewing myself and other women.

    I love the zoo too! 🙂

  3. rocknnell

    I have to apologize…the little one in the green crocheted hat….was TUG……and he was so small….and Gabe was like two and a half and Tug was like 6 weeks old…. for Sally moved when Tug was 6 months old from Cincinnatti….  ” etched in my mind…?”  well,  how about too many years…but still the memory is there…just add one more little boy….lol…sorry,   As we all know….my time is over.  I’m out of here like a fat grandma in dodgeball.

  4. rocknnell

      29 years ago….I took a little boy…a tiny baby to the Cincinnatti Zoo…it was extremely hot…like in the 90’s…..  I can not tell you what I had on.  I can not tell you  what I wore…or how I wore my hair….. I can tell you…that my little son had on a little green crocheted hat to keep the hot sun off of his head.  I can tell you that my sister got to experience what it was like to take a little one to the zoo.  I can tell you….that it is etched in my mind…how young I was…how young Gabe was and we went to the zoo together.  The memory has never gotten any skinnier…..and neither have I. 

  5. YoYoYoder

    Ooh! I want to go to the zoo with the Taviano’s! It sounds like so much fun!

    AMEN to what faithchick wrote! I think it’s SOOO comforting to realize that everyone compares themselves and everyone is “lacking” in some areas. You want her cuteness–she wants your smartness. You want her hair–she wants your white teeth! You want her body–she wishes she could spend her exercise time writing books for Harvest House!

    Let’s say you spent more time on your hair, clothes, working out, and packing lunches. What would you then have to cut out of your life to make room for those things? Time spent loving Gabe, cuddling your girls, spending time with the Lord, writing books??

    You know a funny illustration from my life? Those days when I take extra care finding the perfect cute outfit and my hair is especially cooperative with me and it looks really pretty, guess what happens?? Stew and I have an argument! It’s like I’m so engrossed in myself and how cute I look that day, I’m not even thinking of how to love my husband and treat him how I should. Have you ever experienced that? But when I concentrate on loving others and not as much on myself, life is so much better because I’m focused on the right things! Always remember that Gabe and your girls LOVE YOU! They don’t want you to change! They love YOU just the way you are and would NEVER want someone else to fill those spots only you can.

    Sorry for the long comment. Like you said–that sister of your sure is a talker. 🙂

  6. faithchick

    It’s funny…this whole world of comparing ourselves to others. I think a study should be done. Because, I’m guessing that when you (not YOU, but you as in the collective you :-)) see someone & compare yourself to her, she’s most likely comparing herself to you.

    Why is it so hard? I find that I always feel like I’m the most inferior looking, dressing, acting in any group of people.

    God made you just like he wants you, though! What if you painted a picture and someone came up and started changing everything…(or let’s say your write a book…;-)), wouldn’t that bug you a little because you painted it just like you wanted it to be & you have reasons for painting it that way. Someone who is unaware of those reasons might want to change it, but you like it how it is. You’re God’s masterpiece.

    🙂 Thanks for being so real!

  7. gtaviano

    I don’t know what you’re talking about – none of those kids at the zoo were near as cute as ours. If you have a kid and were at the zoo that day, tough luck I guess? I’m guessing each parent thins their kids are the cutest. Your snacks and Capri Suns tasted just fine. Some mothers are probably insane enough to spend more time packing their lunch than walking around the zoo. This world is full of crazy parents.

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