A Day at the Aquarium

It was fall.  The days were getting shorter minute by minute and our family was in need of light.  The difficulties faced by one rolled into a ball of nerves for us all, baby, boys, mom, dad. . .'All for one, one for all' is the old saying.  Sadly, though, dad had to stay behind for work.  I wish we kidnapped him!  He needed this as much as the rest of us.  But what could I say to convince him? "Let's take a three and a half hour trip with a carfull of monkeys and hope for the best." or  "I have a feeling it will be just what we need," because that is all I was going on really.

So, I fed the kids, dressed in my not so spiffy, but comfortable torn jeans, sweatshirt and too large vest. . .was feeling pretty low, bedraggled would be a better fit, but threw in a little hope with the bag lunches and the kids and headed out on our adventure.  Three and a half hour trips are usually saved for weekend or weeklong trips to the lake or ocean and not usually a daytrip.  No car video equipment, DS, or MP3 player for the kids, just some magnetic drawing boards and the road.

We headed south on my hunch that we needed something big to help us out of this pit of worry and stress we had been trapped in the the past few weeks.  (months? years?)  Summer seemed eons ago, the beaches our freedom and solace, would be cold and barren, too melancholy to be helpful.  So I chose life below the surface, the aquarium.  My children, aquatic creatures, water babies in another life and this life needed home in a place far from it.

A quiet and cold weekday brought few visitors to the aquarium.  Almost alone, we moved with the fish through dimlit rooms encased in blue and quiet tranquility.  We crawled through tunnels to new spaces, places, and worlds and climbed the rocks and braved the cold on our way to visit the penguins and watch the beluga whales welcome us and share their tricks.

Back inside, warm again, encased in vessel of creatures large, small, and wonderous, we looked, we touched, we whispered in peace and felt the mystical nature of life carry our troubles away, though currents, through time, away.

My children and I happy, youthful, curious again returned home with relaxed shoulders, and good memories to carry us through.  Still, I didn't realize how well it worked, till upon our return, I looked my husband in the eye and saw all the mess of it still there, and I knew he should have come too, and been washed of it all in the mysteries of the sea.

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