zoo tomorrow

My sister is going to the zoo today. In her case, I should say, “a zoo,” because she loves creatures and visits any handy zoo whenever she can. (Kind of like the way B & I visit libraries.)

And each time I know she’s going, I sing to her—or send her—the song from the album Peter, Paul, and Mommy “Going to the Zoo.” She’s either sick of it now, or has passed on to eye-rolling affection: there K goes again with the song-!

As I was tidying up the kitchen (moments after sending it along), I considered why it’s one of my treasured tunes. The album is specific to a small window of people; I don’t think anyone much younger, or older, than I listened to it unless they had siblings who already had it.

But as I hummed the last verse:

Well we stayed all day and I’m gettin’ sleepy
Sittin’ in the car gettin’ sleep sleep sleepy
Home already gettin’ sleep sleep sleepy
‘Cause we have stayed all day…

I felt all over again the end of my fifth birthday.

***

That was a big year. We went to Six Flags. Over Georgia, because I lived in Athens, GA then. A real amusement park, with big scary thrilling glorious rides, many of which I was not as tall as this sign for and could not ride. But that was glamorous, too. We stayed out until it was very dark, my best friend Jeffy and I, and rode many, many, many things. A good first amusement park to visit—though what would I have known, since I didn’t have anything to compare it to?

When we left, we went to eat at Denny’s, also an exotic treat. Partly because we usually went out to an International House of Pancakes (so many tasty syrups!), but mostly because my father was in grad school working on his PhD., and we hadn’t the income for restaurants. I think I ordered a fancy hamburger, but maybe I’m imagining, or maybe someone else with a more-adult memory told me about it later.

I remember the languor, though. After so much giddiness, and awe, and new… plus noise and color and many many humans… it was good to sit on the pleather banquette, discuss the menu with Jeffy, and think about the burger to come.

I’m told I fell asleep, unwakeable, five minutes after placing my order. So did Jeffy. Our parents ate, bundled up our food for us to eat the next day, and gathered our limp bodies into the car for the long drive home.

We’ve been to the zoo zoo zoo
So have you you you
You came too too too
We’ve been to the zoo zoo zoo

I still pick up a touch of that thrill when I go to an amusement park. And the happy satisfaction when I head home, even if now I have to do my own driving.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.