The addition of Ever to our well oiled family of four has been a wonderful but sometimes tough transition for all of us, but none more so than Oren. His feelings toward her have been a pendulum of emotions swinging from ambivalence and jealousy to finally, within just the last two weeks, acceptance and possibly even affection. He talks to her now and even holds her hand or gives her the occasional kiss on the head. It's been such a relief to see him finally start to warm up to her. Even so, I knew he was in need of a little extra one on one time. A day for just the two of us where he had 100% of my attention. I remember being little and my dad taking each of us kids out on days of our own, where it would just be the two of us and he'd let us pick whatever we wanted to do. For my day I'd usually pick the art museum and we'd wander around there for awhile and then go to lunch and it was nothing special but it was also everything special. Those days were nothing extravagant but they are some of my best memories. I want to make sure I make those same kind of memories with my three, and it just felt like Oren really needed his day. He's been super into sharks lately, his favorite christmas present was a five dollar wind up (RED, of course) hammerhead shark bath toy which he now takes with him everywhere. He even sleeps with it. We've been watching lots of shark shows on tv and reading lots of shark books so I figured the Cleveland Aquarium would be right up his alley. We'd been before, but it had been awhile and he didn't really remember it. So I planned our date, first stop was to get hot chocolate for the long drive up and then on to the aquarium!
So the way the aquarium is set up, the sharks are the last exhibit you see, the grand finale so to speak. When we first arrived we started wandering through the tanks of fish and I pointed out all the cool things to him but it soon became clear that all he wanted was TO SEE THE SHARKS NOW. So we basically skipped past everything else and went straight to the end. I let him direct us and followed his lead, letting him take as long as he wanted in each area. We must have gone through the shark tunnel about 20 times before he was finally ready to start working our way backwards to see all the other stuff. I think he really loved being in charge of our route and timeframe and didn't have to compromise or take turns with anyone else for at least one afternoon.
scuba divers in the shark tank above and the sting ray touch pool below!
After the aquarium I took him to Heck's Cafe for lunch where he ordered their vary fancy version of macaroni and cheese and then we capped the day off with a trip across the street for a chocolate chip cookie the size of his head (and a latte for me). It was just what the doctor ordered and we had such a great time. Days like this are what being a parent is all about and spending all that time connecting one on one with one of my favorite people in the world was such a treat for both of us. He is just the very best little guy and I'm so, so lucky I get to call him mine.
You have my heart, little man, forever and always.