What About the Kids?

Saturday I met up with some family members at the Detroit Zoo. Over the years I’ve made several trips to the Zoo starting in elementary school. Whether it was with my parents as chaperones, tagging along as they chaperoned my siblings’ trips, or just going with my classmates I’ve been to the Detroit Zoo at least a dozen times.

Back in the day even if your class didn’t go on any other trip for the rest of the year, you could count on going to the zoo. For Detroit Public Schools I assume it was a top choice because it was nearby and economical. Though my parents made good money the majority of the kids I went to school with were from lower income households.

As I was walking through the zoo with my family all I could think about is how much it’s changed. For one thing it’s expensive. Kid’s tickets are ten bucks and adult tickets are fourteen and parking is six bucks. The train which was a free attraction as long as you paid admission back in the day, now requires a fee. Even the price to rent a stroller is outrageous.

I know prices change, but I think that something educational for kids should be more affordable. Walking through looking at the expensive treats and souvenirs I couldn’t imagine a struggling single mom, like my mom was, being able to afford to bring her kids. It’s not Disney World.

When I think of The Detroit Zoo, I think of an inexpensive place to take kids where they can learn about the world around them. Why should people have to pay a premium price for their kids to learn?


Let Mom Have Some Peace

Today my siblings and I took my mother to the Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner. Somehow, nonsense seems to be stalking me.

At the table behind us, I hear what sounds like a possible argument. A young man tells a woman that it’s not his decision and she has to make up her own mind. As they continue talking I realize it’s not a married couple but a mother and son. In less than an hour I know their whole family history.

It seems that the mother wasn’t around much or may have had issues making decisions. Her son drops big words on her psychoanalyzing the situation. He’s not quite to the point of berating her for what she’s done in the past, but he’s close. There’s also a brother somewhere who by the sound of it may have an addiction issue and really doesn’t want to be bothered with her.

The son goes on and on throughout the entire meal, bringing up ancient family history. Over and over he’s lecturing her like he’s enjoying dishing out this punishment. I get to the point where I’m ready to turn around and tell him to leave the drama for Monday. Today is Mother’s Day after all.

After awhile, they leave and I’m left to wonder if the drama will continue on the ride home. The entire situation just makes me grateful for my own mother. My siblings, my little cousin and I are very blessed to have her in our corner.