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Recognizing Miracles

March 18, 2014

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
―     Albert Einstein

Tuesday has become our zoo day. The weather is finally starting to warm enough to have afternoon outings with Mary again. Since Tuesday is not a therapy day, we’ve been sneaking off to the zoo in between picking her up from school and picking up her brother and sister from school. It’s a quick trip- we squeeze in about an hour and a half of zoo time before we head across town to Troy and Joyce’s school, but since we have a membership, it’s no big deal to only see part of the zoo at a time.

So we went last week, and again this week. And if the weather holds, we’ll probably go every week. She’s starting to recognize the routine and was cheering in her own way as we entered the parking lot this week. I felt so grateful to have found an outing that she is finally really enjoying. When she was younger, we would go to the zoo regularly, but it didn’t look like she really cared about it one way or another. I am learning, however, that I should know better. Because even when she doesn’t appear to be paying attention, she is absorbing it all.


Mary appearing to not notice the giant polar bear standing just inches from her peering at her through the glass.

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Mary sitting very close to a monkey last fall. Both appear to be ignoring each other.

She may not look like she is watching, but she is probably taking in more information about that encounter than you or I could ever hope to. This picture was from last week. Last week, she absorbed it all. Today, she celebrated it all, and it was a joy to see.  Usually she sits politely in her chair while we wait in line to get in. Today, she was pushing her chair up in the line, hurrying me along, and singing and screeching in her celebratory way. She just couldn’t wait to get into the zoo.

First up on our list today was the red panda. She danced back and forth with him. I wish I had snapped a picture for you, but I was just too caught up in the dance.  She was cheering and swaying as he dipped his head down against the glass over and over. He seemed to enjoy the pressure of the cool glass against his head in much the same way that Mary enjoys pressure on her own forehead. They were quite a pair and she was so happy to share in the dance with him.  And me, well I just felt blessed to even share the same space with the two of them.

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Just in case you don’t know what a red panda looks like- actually not a bear at all. “Panda” just means “bamboo-eater.” Your fun fact of the day. 😉


This is Mary checking out the red panda last fall.

There were of course the old standards, the rhinoceros, lions, tigers, giraffes. These are all fun, of course, but she definitely has some favorites.

Like the flamingos…
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and of course, the elephants….

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But every time we come, her favorite spot is the aquarium. She loves her precious penguins. They seem to swim right up to her, and the squeals of laughter and delight that they bring are so welcome.  But as I’ve shown you before, she has a favorite tank. And I think it has much less to do with the fish inside of it, and much more to do with the way the afternoon sunlight hits the water as it flows into the tank creating the most incredible display of bubbles. She loves to dance with the water.

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A very excited smile caught with her actually looking at the camera!

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After dancing with the panda, and cheering for her bubbles, it had been such a fun day. We had counted elephants and discussed the monkeys playing in the trees. All of that was perfect. But just before we left for the day, something seemingly small happened.

We decided to stop and watch the sea lions before we left.

And that’s when it happened.

I pointed and she looked.

I know, it seems small. But I can’t tell you how many times I have pointed at something or told her to look at this, and nothing. I think the official term for it is “joint attention.” Well, it was never there. But twice, while watching the sea lions from above.

Twice. I pointed and she looked.

It is not enough to pray for miracles. We have to be willing to recognize them when we see them. And today, she looked.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. findingcoopersvoice permalink
    March 18, 2014 9:45 pm

    I have goodebumps! First, she is do beautiful in those pictures. I love! Second, what an awesome day!! What an amazing special thing for you to do with her.

    • March 18, 2014 9:47 pm

      Thanks! She loves going and I love taking her. 🙂

      • findingcoopersvoice permalink
        March 18, 2014 9:49 pm

        We have a smaller zoo in Duluth and I hope to get a membership this summer. I love it because the kids can ‘run’ and enjoy themselves. Meaning, my sensory seeker can be himself and I don’t have to worry.

      • March 18, 2014 9:50 pm

        AND they come home tired. 😉 Definitely worth it! We’ve had a membership since my oldest was a newborn, and he’s one of those that just never stops moving, so it’s been nice to have for sure. 😉

  2. Joan Minear permalink
    March 18, 2014 9:53 pm

    That sounds like an incredible day. Truly a miracle to be enjoyed. Thank you for sharing. Luv Joanie

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. alexrawfootage permalink
    March 18, 2014 10:33 pm

    nice 🙂

  4. March 18, 2014 11:31 pm

    She is adorable! It almost sounds like she has been in a deep sleep and is slowly waking up. I hope and pray so! I love the zoo too.

    • March 18, 2014 11:38 pm

      Thank you. 🙂 It may appear that way, but in so many ways I think it is we who are waking up. We are learning to recognize more clearly what has always been there, what she has always tried to show us, and that recognition is encouraging her to do more, show us more. Little miracles each day. 😉

  5. Gede Prama permalink
    March 19, 2014 2:05 am

    Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful words and for such a wonderful response…:)

    • March 19, 2014 2:06 am

      Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words. 🙂

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