I walk to rehearsals every day. My walk takes me through Balboa Park, where the theater is located and where the famous San Diego Zoo is also located. In fact, I walk by the Zoo on my way to the rehearsal halls. Yesterday, as I was passing the Zoo, I took the opportunity to call my nephew who was turning 13. He is the youngest of my sister’s two boys. He has always had the most wonderful speaking voice, very childlike and full of wonder, with a natural musicality that is delightful. If I could I would do an imitation of it for you.
Meredith put him on the phone. I said “Happy Birthday!” A stranger answered. A stranger who has a deep voice with about a 3 note range. What????? I felt like someone had kicked me. Of course, I said nothing to him – I know all about boys and changing voices and self-consciousness. I have several nephews. I get it. But this voice, this sweet little boy voice – I loved that voice.
Gone. When my sister got back on the line, I went on and on about it. She said “Welcome to my world.” Boys grow up, the youngest becomes a young man. I think all Moms want to stop time for a while – have their kids stay at a certain age. I guess Aunts do, too. I’m hoping I can keep that voice alive in my memory, in the little tape recorder in my brain.
Later that day, I was walking back home – again by the zoo. I walk along a high fence that hides the exhibits. For some reason I took my camera along with me yesterday. Alerted by some school children who were pointing and aiming cameras, look what I saw:
Apparently, the back of the Koala exhibit faces the fence. You can see the fence I walked along, and then the interior enclosure. You must know something about me: koala bears are my favorite animals in the zoo. I love them. So I stood there, entranced by this little creature and trying to get a good photo. Here are some more:
I didn’t even have to pay the entrance fee! Now that I know they are there, I will be watching for a glimpse of one every day. I know that Koalas don’t like to be held and are not ‘cuddly’ but in my world, I prefer to think they are. Isn’t this the cutest little guy? I want him. Do you think they would let me take him home?
Have a wonderful day.