Today Sean and I went to the Atlanta Zoo with our good friends from church. They have two little girls, ages almost 2 and almost 4, that Sean loves to play with. He calls the entire family "Lyssa." Only the youngest child is Alyssa, but this is a minor detail for Sean. After a rousing game of "Circus Clown" last night before bed, I kind of thought the zoo might seem tame. (In "Circus Clown" Sean dons a plastic bag that held circus souvenirs. I tore a head hole and arm holes in it and watch him closely. Once the bag is on, he runs madly about the room shouting, "CIRCUS CLOWN!" at the top of his lungs. This is hysterical to observe.) The zoo, however, proved to be a good time for all. We spent a good chunk of time on various playgrounds, admired the Asian otters extensively, and got to watch the male giant panda climb his platform and scratch his behind. We also got to see bored gorillas posing for photos, an alligator playing "dead log" really well, and two evergreen toads trying to hide under a leaf for some toady intimacy. I will refrain from making any bad jokes about horny toads.
Sean's favorite thing, though, was the tiger habitat. Sure, the elephant was crushing bamboo and eating it. Yes, the lion was roaring and making the earth tremble. Yes, the panda did give us a show. Nonetheless, in my little boy's eyes, nothing was better or more interesting than the tigers. They were sound asleep and barely moved a muscle while we stood there and watched them. Sean pointed them out excitedly to Kaylin, showed them to me, and nearly cried when we had to move on. With all of the excitement at the zoo, my precious boy just wanted to watch the tigers nap. I kind of see where he's coming from. Even sleeping, the big cats are so amazing and powerful. Right now, I'm watching him sleep. He's pretty amazing, too.
One more thing. Our friends have finally been granted their own names by his most imperious highness. As we were leaving, he saw their van parked a tier below ours, and called out, "A-bye, Kisten (Kristen)! A-bye Pe-er (Peter)!" By Sunday, they'll probably all be "Lyssa" again.