The next big smile inducers came from the aquarium. My son loves science and my daughter loves mermaids. Thankfully, you can see both at Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach.
I'm always amazed at how my son can become so incredibly observant and focused when we go to places like this. He is in control of himself and just absorbs everything! He would completely wander off if we didn't stay right on top of him. He doesn't complain about walking, he just wants to see it all. I don't fully understand why some situations are harder for him than others. He's completely comfortable walking amongst the noise and chaos of Manhattan, aquariums, zoos, museums, etc., but he can't handle school recess or lunch. I guess it has to do with social cues. Big cities and places like the one we visited today don't require him to process and interpret social cues, unlike the lunchroom and playground, which means he can relax and just observe the exhibits. Mental note: use this theory to our advantage some how!
My daughter, though, is the complainer. She was really only there to see one thing-- the Mermaid show! She wasn't going to be happy until that happened. Once she saw the mermaids, all thoughts revolved upon those befinned ladies of the sea.
"Mom, do you think mermaids are real? Are these real mermaids? Can I become a mermaid? That mermaid had tattoos... Can mermaids really have tattoos? Where do they get tattoos from?"
Then, she met one of the mermaids who, because my lovely girl was too terrified to speak to her, told of how she and Ariel were friends and playmates.
"But Mom, is Ariel real? If she is, isn't she a human now?"
I wouldn't give her a real answer, I just would say that there are stories of real mermaids, but no one knows for sure. If Ariel was real, and a human, she could just walk right into the aquarium and meet her friend here. Basically, my answers were "what do you think?"
My thoughtful daughter declared "Mom, I've decided that when I am born again, I will be born a mermaid." This child, the one who came up with her own method of meditation, has apparently contemplated this thought enough to come up with reincarnation? That girl can be so Zen at times! God love her!
Both my kids were quite in the Zen mode at the aquarium, at least after the mermaid show, and I love seeing them like this! You can see them taking everything in and churning it over in their minds. It's a beautiful thing and always brings a smile to my face!