Friday, March 14, 2008

Feeding the Giraffes

Over the past year, Drew has probably been to our nearby zoo about 4-5 times. Each time, he seems to anticipate the trip more and more. In fact, yesterday morning, he woke up, sat straight up in bed and said, "We're going to the zoo today!"

We went with a good friend of mine and her two-year old daughter. Both kids were in a very good mood when we arrived, having entertained eachother in the backseat the whole way over with their nonsensical jokes and questions for us:
"Mommy, is this a big road or a small road?"
"Are we going to the zoo?"
"Can I have a snack?"
"Can I roll my window down now?"
"Mommy, is this my diaper bag?"
"Are we going to the zoo?"
"Are we going to the zoo now?"

(Meanwhile, we reminisced about the days when they couldn't talk!).

One of our first stops was the Giraffe Exhibit, where visitors have the option to buy a "biscuit" of some sort that you can actually feed the giraffes! Drew has progressed from fear to curiosity to slight bravery each time we see the giraffes, but never has he even come close to feeding them. That is, until yesterday!

I purchased the cracker and walked with my son up the ramp to the lookout, where four giraffes were leisurely enjoying their morning routine. They were completely uninterested in our outstretched hands and seemed unmoved by the childrens' pleadings, "Come here giraffe - Come get your food!"

Eventually, one of these beautiful creatures became interested enough to stroll over and check us out. Andrew's hand was eagerly outstretched through a hole in the fencing as the tall, lanky animal sauntered over. After a brief moment of hesitation (where he quickly withdrew his hand and looked up at me), he summoned up a whole lot of courage and thrust the cracker up toward the giraffe's mouth. A silvery gray tongue gently pulled the food out of his hand, and just like that... the food was gone and the fear was conquered!

I am really proud of Drew for overcoming his fear and being SO brave yesterday. And today, I am compelled to follow his example. My desire to pursue some sort of writing career is similar to feeding the giraffes. I've experience fear (I could never do that - no one would want to read what I have to say - I'm not good enough), curiosity (researching writing contests, publishers guidelines, self-publishing websites), and a little bravery (starting this blog, for instance). But I am inspired to just wave my outstretched hand a little further through the fence today and be brave. There's a writing contest that I've been "curious" about for far too long. And there's a children's book that needs a few finishing touches.

How about you? Wanna feed a giraffe today?

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