Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Monday, July 15, 2019

They Do Last Longer

We saw the lions. It was our second time on the safari, this time at dusk, and we were excited to see other nocturnal animals that were hiding to sleep the day away during our first run. There were three lions laying down high up on a flat rock. Prior to seeing them, we heard them growling and roaring and the tour guide was hopeful we'd see them.

There were two females and a male laying there on the rock as we rounded the corner. Such majestic creatures; we were so grateful to see them. I took a few pictures, knowing that the distance would mean grainier resolution zooming in.

It was only a couple of minutes, and as they started to move out of view, one of the females got up and grazed the male's face with her body, laid back down, and then the male mounted her.

It's natural. It happens. Even on a Walt Disney World Animal Kingdom safari with your family. And all the other families on the safari with you.

All the adults who witnessed it laughed awkwardly. All the kids asked what happened.

Once we were off the safari truck, our oldest daughter Beatrice asked, "What were they doing?"

My wife Amy answered, "They were mating."

"Ewwwww," Beatrice said shaking.

"What?" our youngest Bryce said.

"They were mating."

"Hey baby, you got a hot body!" Bryce said and then laughed.

What the hell? Where did that come from? These kids today.

It was funny, though. Bryce is a riot and Beatrice is growing up so fast; we're so grateful to be able to take them both on another fun family vacation adventure. One where we make memories together and share new and unique experiences. Where we unplug, at least somewhat. Even if I'm mostly checked out of work, which took a couple of days deep into vacation to get there, I'm still sharing and posting the vacation pics on Instagram and Facebook, because that's how I roll. And the girls still have some device time to themselves in between the adventuring.

During our adventuring, for the most part, we're all present and paying attention and our mindfulness accounted for. And while on vacation, early this morning, I ready a little piece in the New York Times about paying attention and noticing your surroundings, without over-analyzing. Just seeing and experiencing. All the sights and sounds and people and animals and things around us. This is where our connectivity comes from, where new ideas come from, where inspiration comes from.

I may take a lot of pictures of it all and share it all electronically, but the experiences are real. Including the experience of forgetting where you parked your rental car in one of the Walt Disney World parking lots. Of walking around hot and tired looking for our car, dragging our kids behind us, and not having a clue of where we parked. And out of hundreds of pictures I've taken so far on our family vacation, we neglected to take one of our parking spot number. We knew the general vicinity, just not the exact number. I thought of the quip you might here when staring at someone for too long, "take a picture, it lasts longer," and the irony of the quip and not paying attention here wasn't lost on me.

After walking around for nearly 30 minutes looking for our car, Amy had gone and found a parking attendant who said about the time we parked that morning, we would've been in section 301. I was looking in section 330, with the girls whining behind me. If Amy hadn't done that, I would've been walking around all night.

Yes, indeed. The pictures and the experiences, they do last longer, so take a moment and pay attention.

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