My five-year-old boy is obsessed with zoos. Out of nowhere. And now he IS a "Zoo Man". He insists that we go to nashvillezoo.com (funny to hear him refer to it that way) all the time so that we can make lists of all the animals there that are also at HIS (imaginary)zoo. He has a location for his zoo picked out too. It is at Centennial Park ... speaking of 'wild things', he has no idea that his mommy, as a rebellious teen, once innocently hung out and swilled tequilla with the reknowned folk-punk band the Violent Femmes into the wee hours at that very location, but I digress. He is obsessed! When I put him to bed I say "I love you, Little Man" to which he responds "Say I love you 'zookeeper'". "Okay, I love you zookeeper ... goodnight Little Man", "Say goodnight 'zookeeper'!" He has given jobs to everyone he knows at his zoo (I think my job is to either answer questions or swim with the dolphins and his dad is the ticket man) I love his wild imagination, and I hope that all of his wishes come true. However, I am not sure about the potential of owning a zoo. I speak to him about the importance of kindness to animals and have discussed the virtues of having an animal sanctuary instead. And we are going to visit one such place on our trip to the Jersey Shore this summer .. Popcorn Park Zoo, a refuge for abused or abandoned exotic animals and wildlife who get released back to their environment whenever possible. How cool would that be as a family venture?!
Watered-down earth mother, singer/songwriter and actress, Lauren Braddock Havey has penned a parenting memoir, A Journey to the Son, being released October 2009 by Two Harbors Press. She is also concurrently releasing a companion CD, a “folk-rock opera” of the same name. For more info, please visit www.ajourneytotheson.com