So Emma is home from school today for spring break. I woke up rough, in a bad mood, with a major headache, and had a strong feeling that it was not going to be a good day. I sat on the couch, doing my usual internet crap in my pj's, but I had a feeling that I just wanted to escape the house. Get the heck out of here. I sat there and thought about it a bit and decided it would be fun to go into Des Moines to the zoo. We have a membership afterll, might as well use it. So I got ready and got the kids ready but when we got outside it was cloudy and colder than I thought it would be. So as we hit the road I informed then of a quick plan change. We would not go to the zoo, we would go to the Des Moines Botanical Center. Annie started to cry and I felt bad; she really wanted to go to the zoo. But I told her we would go another day. I told her that today we were going to the JUNGLE! So she got a little excited about that.
Getting to the Botanical Center was kind of nervewracking. It is right in downtown Des Moines and I didn't know where I was going, but eventually we found it. The minute we stepped into the warm, tropical air I knew I had made the best choice. The air was moist and fragrant, and everywhere there were palms and flowers and tropical plants. It is like a jungle under a huge dome. There are paths through it and a stream with koi and a waterfall. The girls were delighted! We explored the different kind of trunks and leaves and flowers; we even found a banana tree with little bananas growing on it. There was also a little desert section with all kinds of cactuses (cacti?), large and small, thin and fat and flowering. We watched a small bird hopping near a cactus. We watched the fish in the stream and saw a painted turtle. There was a coloring activity upstairs and we sat and colored for awhile. It was just a nice time.
On the drive home as I was listening to the girls playing in the backseat with the toys I got them at the gift shop, I felt a surge of love for them swell in my heart. A feeling of joy just came over me. It is so rare lately for me to feel truly happy that I just basked in the sensation. I thought about my girls. It is truly amazing that I have them in my life. And I thought about the fact that they save my life, every day, and make it liveable. They pull me out of myself and remind me that the world is not all about me. It is easy for me to forget this. I get so wound up in thinking about myself, MY depression, MY recovery, MY goals, MY appointments, MY illness. The girls have shown me a world outside of all of this. A world where happiness is found not in self-denial, but in discovery and simple pleasures. Like coloring a picture, or finding a secret hiding spot in a tree trunk, or sharing a funny joke or a hug.
I don't know where I would be without Emma and Anne. Probably in some crappy group home. I don't really want to think about it. The point is, I love my girls. They are the greatest blessing in my life.
I will post some pictures of today later.
6 months ago