Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Field Trip

With Gan ended, no camp on Fridays and no patients scheduled, I had to come up with a viable plan for an Erev Shabbat, especially given that my daughter finds herself incapable of sleeping late.  After several local errands, I threw together a picnic lunch and thought it would be so clever to get to the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo early, when it opened, before the onslaught.

Heh, heh. Turns out every other parent in the Jerusalem area had the same idea, and by the time we got to the parking lot it was practically full.  In my haste to leave the house I had forgotten to apply sunscreen for the both of us, and I asked a man (a stranger) standing near us with his own family and a bottle of lotion if he could please share with us, and he did so immediately and without hesitation. Only in Israel.

Raphaela and I spent almost four hours there, walking around in the pleasant sun and covering almost the entire zoo, making occasional stops to dine on cookies, fruit and salmon.  We even bumped into one of her classmates from Gan and his family, a pleasant surprise for all of us and a joy to watch the kids embrace and have their little toddler conversations.

The zoo is available to all residents of Jerusalem, and at one point a traditionally dressed Arab family walked by.  Raphaela laughed and said to me, "Look, she's wearing her pajamas outside the house!"  It made me realize that even in our mixed neighborhood, my daughter is quite sheltered, and that I need to explain the diversity of the population of Israel in more detail, and with tolerance.

Based upon our physical activity of the day and the heat of the sun, I anticipate that we will both sleep very well tonight, and I love the time I get to spend watching my child play and grow and laugh.

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