Zoo Again: The Same but Different

In the seven-plus years I lived in San Diego, I never went to the zoo. Single and childless, I considered the zoo a family place. I’ve since made up for lost time. This week alone, we’re on our third visit. Thursday morning, Tim gave a lecture at the Naval Hospital in Balboa Park. After dropping him off, the kids and I drove straight to the zoo. 

The zoo is one of many places I frequent now that I’m a parent. In the almost eight years since we adopted Olivia and Mateo, my stomping grounds are playgrounds, water parks, and bowling alleys. In the past six months alone, I’ve made more visits to zoos than in all the previous years of my life combined. 

It’s the same for my friends. When the kids and I reached the zoo entrance, I wasn’t surprised to see my good friend, Synthia, ready to enter with her daughter. Syn and I worked together at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, when we were both single. We’re both married now, each with two children about the same age. As our kids scampered ahead in search of elephants, we fell into step and began discussing how much they’ve changed and grown since our last visit at Christmas. 

At times it seems as though my entire life revolves around my children and their development. That’s why it’s so wonderful to run into an old friend like Synthia. Although the content of our conversations has changed, she’s the same friend I first met 15 years ago. Like my life now, our friendship is the same but different.

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