Monday, April 24, 2023

Memphis Zoo

 Memphis, Tennessee

September 2013

We have three stories from our father-daughter trip to the Memphis Zoo. First, Egypt and I have a thing were I sometimes respond with, "Daughter" when she calls me dad. This happened when we were at a gas station and a random man overheard and he started questioning the fact because in his words, "I don't see it."

Egypt was barely 4 years old and kinda knew she was adopted, but didn't fully understand what it all meant. I assured the man that I was her father and he just wouldn't let it go. It made for a very uncomfortable situation and I didn't want to really get into it in front of Egypt. I did my best to remain calm and we couldn't get out of there fast enough. I felt horrible for Egypt as this was the first time she had to endure a rude stranger.

Our second story is about the giant purse Egypt is holding in the picture below. Her grandmother was in the middle of staying with us for a few weeks when we took this trip. Egypt was most insistent on bringing her large zebra print purse on this trip and her grandmother tried to talk her out of it. When Egypt wouldn't budge, she told me that I would end up carrying it because it was too big for Egypt. I didn't care enough either way and if Egypt wanted it for all her "things," I was fine with it. I figured I would end up carrying her stuff no matter what it was in and to Egypt's credit, she held on to it the entire trip.

The last story still breaks my heart even after all these years. Egypt's favorite animal is the polar bear and the Memphis Zoo is the closest zoo to Jacksonville, FL with polar bears. They were the main attraction and reason why we were in Memphis. Egypt was so excited as we approached the polar bear exhibit and they were walking around and even swimming a little. We couldn't ask for a better show, it was almost like they knew their favorite fan was there to see them. 

After some time passed observing the polar bears, Egypt asked, "When do I get to pet them?"

I had to tell her that she wouldn't be able to pet the polar bears and she started crying with disappointment. A zoo worker overheard what was going on and he asked us to wait a minute because he had something for Egypt. I was thinking a small polar bear stuffed animal or something similar. I couldn't have been more wrong.

We came back with a 4' by 6' piece of polar bear fur for Egypt to pet and she was so excited to feel it, but it was short lived when she asked if it was real. When he responded, "Yes," she started to really cry because she realized that the polar bear had to die for her to be able to pet it.

It took some time to calm down and some deep conversations with a 4 year old before she was able to enjoy the polar bears again.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts