It’s not the memory I had planned, but a memory was made | Toddling Through the Silicon Valley | Cheryl Bac | Palo Alto Online |

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By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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It’s not the memory I had planned, but a memory was made

Uploaded: Jan 23, 2019
Our family recently took a trip to the San Diego Safari Park. I was excited to take our kids to feed the lorikeets. During our previous trip to the Safari Park, our kids loved seeing one of the lorikeets land on my head. I was hoping a similar happy memory would be made this time around.

Well, this time the lorikeets were a bit more aggressive and our youngest was a little too curious. One of the lorikeets ended up biting her finger. She was more startled than injured, but I felt quite guilty for not anticipating this issue ahead of time.

Now what?

I knew our youngest was OK. But I also knew this would be pretty memorable for our kids. How often do they get bit by a bird? I felt a lot of pressure to react appropriately because we were on vacation. We didn’t have another day to come back to the Safari Park during this trip. And I didn’t want this unfortunate moment to ruin the day for anyone.

I decided to just forget we were on vacation for the moment and treat the event like any scrapped knee or tumble. Comfort and calm down our toddler, finish what we were doing, and move on to the next thing.

It’s easy to get swept up in the moment on vacation. You want everything to be perfect. You want all memories to be happy ones. And any speed bumps, even very minor ones like getting bitten by a bird, can really throw you and your kids off course.

I’ll definitely remember when our youngest was bit by a lorikeet. Not because it turned into a momentous event, but because it didn’t. It really didn’t affect our trip much at all. It’s a memory that hopefully will help me keep my composure during our next vacation mishap no matter how large or small.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Judy, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown,
on Jan 28, 2019 at 12:52 pm

Funny but being bitten by the lorikeet is probably the only thing your daughter will remember and the story she will tell to others about her visit to the zoo.

When I was a child, back in the 60s, my parents took the family to the San Diego zoo. All I remember is having a small bag of peanuts in my hand that I was looking forward to eating when a goat grabbed it with its teeth and ate it. I was very upset. Then my baby brother dropped my mom's sunglasses in the raccoon cage (I'm pretty sure it was a raccoon) and my dad climbed in to retrieve them.

Both "mishaps" are what we talked and laughed about for years. Other than those two incidents, I don't remember anything about visiting the zoo. It's the imperfect moments that will be remembered, laughed about, and retold throughout the years.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jan 28, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Judy - Thanks for commenting. Great point! Down the road it will probably be a funny memory that we can all joke about.

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