(((Hooray for Awesome Iowa Kids and Unschoolers)))
Wow, Wow, and Wow again! We had a terrific day today! We left the bus about 9 am, quietly sneaking out so as not to disturb John who’s been working 6pm til 6am. We drove the hour drive to Des Moines under lovely sunny skies. Heather and her boys were waiting at the zoo for us, and so we got started there. Blank Park Zoo is such a wonderful little zoo. I was quite impressed! The animals were very close, easy to see. There was one part that you actually walk right into the enclosure with emu and kangaroo. They didn’t seem the least bit worried. We just stayed right on the path, and all was well.
The boys fed hungry goats that were brazen enough to jump right up on you if you weren’t fast enough with the food. The koi fish were hilarious, too, as hilarious as fish can be, anyway! They were all jumbled into a single corner, mouths gaping above the water, hoping to get lucky enough to land a treat!
We even got to see a sloth hanging on the fence, close enough for us to touch! We were literally less than a foot from this beautiful little creature, with the kindest eyes! It was so neat to see it up close, and watch it eat it’s apple and cucumber slices for lunch.
And to think, the day can get even better! We went to the Browns’ home for some quick pizza lunch (yummy--thanks, guys!!!) and then off to the park to meet with some area unschoolers! One of the mothers there noticed Saylor’s Live and Learn 2005 t-shirt, so came right over to us to tell us she and her family were there last year, too! There were a couple other families that were there in 05, and one of those made it to ABQ this year, too! That was the coolest thing! Connecting with complete strangers, over something that we all feel so passionate about. Again, fast friends were made all around.
We arrived at the park around 2:00 and didn’t leave until after 6:00 (I think it was like 6:20 to be exact!) I hardly saw my 2 big boys the whole time. Stone and Holden were off doing their buddy thing, and I was touched to see that. Stone seems to always be the one that gets left out, so I reveled with him in his time with a friend *just for him*. Saylor was playing with a group of 9 other boys and girls, of various ages. They played hide and seek and freeze tag; then spent some time building fairy houses, I mean cabins. (Saylor just corrected me ;) At one point, a little 4 year old boy, not with the group, starts to wander over to the big group of kids. His mom calls him back, and Ann (awesome woman I really clicked with) goes over and explains that he would be welcome to play with the kids, and that she (Ann) would walk him over and introduce him if she (mom) wouldn’t mind. Ann shared that as this young mother was leaving a while later, she was in tears over how warmly this large group of children welcomed him in. She explained that her son was already on an IEP and didn’t know how to play very well with children; and that these kids today just absolutely MADE HIS DAY!!!! As it’s been said a million times over and I’ll say it again ……