365 Meet – Up at the Zoo

I say it many times a week, and written it often, doing a 365 Project changed my life.  One of the many ways it has is connecting me with people from around the world online. Twice, this past month, it has come to life when I was able to meet two friends in person.  Last Friday, I finally met Krista.  It is so crazy how the online world works.  Krista and I found each other on the 365 Project, eventually became Facebook friends, and then continued our friendship in the blogging world. (Click on the underlined words to view Krista’s project and blogs.) Although we live about hour apart, we interacted online for about 18 months, before we met in person.

Since we both spend the days with our kids, and it was a week day, the kids  came along too. We met at the front gate area, and once again, thanks to the online world, we easily recognized each other.  We also knew a lot about each other, so while there was the normal “warm up time,” we also had a lot to talk about.  It is so strange the world we live in these days.  The kids, who had no prior interactions, and who were all tired and hot, took longer to get to know each other.

Luckily, we are all members of the Henry Doorly Zoo, and both families go often, so no one really cared what we saw.  (I was also glad that no one REALLY wanted to go into the Desert Dome since I despise that area of the zoo).  We explored the Jungle, Butterfly Pavilion, Aquarium (air conditioning-yay!), and the playground.  Despite the heat, we had a wonderful time.  Krista and her kids were just as sweet as could be.

The biggest surprise of the day, was the special connection between the oldest kids. I am not sure exactly when it happened, sometime after lunch, in the aquarium, the 7 and 8-year-old started to bond.  (Actually, in the aquarium they were hard to keep track of, and I had the feeling that they were trying to ditch us.)  Eventually, they were holding hands!

My kids are way too young to even tease them about boyfriend/girlfriend stuff, but I can tell you what I saw on this day.  I saw my son holding this girl’s hand.  I saw them talk, laugh, smile and play together.  I heard her give him a phone number.  After we said our good-byes, I saw my son GLOW, yes, that is the only word that really describes his face. I heard him thank me over and OVER and OVER again for “The BEST ZOO trip EVER!”  After we picked up Scott and I said, “McCartney made a special friend.”  I saw my son’s face turn bright red, he covered it with his hands and said, “I just can’t talk about it.”  (He has also asked me a few times this week, if we will EVER see them again and when can we invite them to the zoo?)  So even if we are not ready for this, and he is ONLY 7, I think they did make a sweet connection that day.  Oh, my!!!!

Anyway, despite/because of the easy connection, we had a wonderful time and I can’t wait for another get together.  It’s neat how photography, an English website, and the online world brought two Nebraska moms and 5 kids together that never would have met otherwise.

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