Red High Heels at the Zoo | April Self Portrait

Sunday was an exciting day at our house….Anika has her 9th birthday party at our local zoo! Just before the party started some thunderstorms moved through the area. Rain was coming down in sheets and puddles were instantly everywhere. I was relieved to know the zoo had an awesome Carousel Room where the party was to be held. But I shouldn’t have worried. Do you think a bunch of 9 year old kids are going to be put off by a little water? Certainly not. After a few rides on the carousel, they ran around outside and visited the animals, even in the rain. Later in the party, the zoo staff did an animal presentation, showing the kids a combination of reptiles and a rodent from the Andes Mountains. For my animal-loving girl, this was the perfect party.

And then there’s me. The mom who decided to wear The Red High Heels. This is in fact the same mom who had to walk many steps across land and sea, carrying a laundry basket of favor bags, cheese trays and 50 lbs of too-many-water-bottles. In the rain.  The Red High Heels did well for about 75% of the afternoon, but came off somewhere during the quarter mile lap between the children’s barn and the carousel building to get coins for the sheep feed machines.  After the party was over, The Red High Heels were put on again before carrying everything back to the car. After all, this time there was only 40 lbs of too-many-water-bottles, so why not live it up in the shoe department!!! Steps away from the car, the wind caught some tissue paper from the gift bags and scattered it across the parking lot in seconds. Great. Some of it I chased down, the rest was given up for lost. The Red High Heels were tired.

When I turned 9 my parents gifted me a year of piano lessons, and I couldn’t believe my good fortune. It was everything I wanted. 1994 was the year my love for music and artistry truly took flight. I think about that because my girl has loved little animals since she was very, very young. Not in your typical “I love kitties” way. She has a huge heart for small creatures and is most happy when she is lavishing love on them. One of her gifts from a friend was some cash, which she immediately spent at the zoo gift shop buying a stuffed red panda and baby otter. This year, I’m looking for ways to get her more involved in caring for animals — perhaps at a local humane society. I believe kids’ interests are gold mines to be explored. My love of music at age 9 certainly was, and those piano lessons shaped my life forever.

So, here’s to birthdays, animals and  interests
And The Red High Heels, which will ever live in infamy.

This is a continuation of my monthly self portrait series.
See other posts from the series here!


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