It’s been a long time getting through my August adventure. We’re almost there! If you’d like to follow along from the beginning check out the following posts. If you’re up to date, start right after the jump:
- Write Anywhere #66
- Write Anywhere #67
- Write Anywhere #68
- Write Anywhere #69
- Write Anywhere #70
- Write Anywhere #71
Musician Daughter and Musician-in-Law had to make a decision. Just a week before, they lost their baby to miscarriage. Now their son Destined-To-Be-A-Musician’s (BAM for short) second birthday was days away. Would it be right to have a festive party while still mourning their loss? Would it feel right? Would friends and family understand? They didn’t want to deprive BAM, but the thought of birthdays seemed too much, the heart wounds still too raw.
We all decided to focus on the positive for BAM’s sake, and instead of an all-out birthday party, we planned for a casual day at a favorite local attraction. BAM could have a fun time, oblivious to the inner turmoil of his parents, and the bittersweet reminders did not have to sting quite so sharply.
Write Anywhere #72: Grant’s Farm
Grant’s Farm is a 281-acre animal reserve nestled at the edge of south St. Louis owned by the Busch family of Anheuser-Busch company fame. Part of the acreage was the original homestead of Ulysses S. Grant, General of the Northern Armies during the Civil War and the 18th president of the United States. The cabin he built in the 1850’s before he became president, nicknamed ‘Hardscrabble’, still stands and can be viewed on a tram tour of the park. Visiting the park is free except for parking and buying food if you choose.
This is where we took BAM for his big day, and he couldn’t have cared less about all that history. There were more interesting things for a 2-year old to think about.
The first thing to fascinate BAM was the tram itself. Never having been in anything like it, he enjoyed the open-air ride and spotting animals along the path to the main park area.
When we reached the main park, which is more like a zoo than a farm, we encountered the goat pens. For fifty cents you could purchase baby bottles with milk to feed the goats. BAM didn’t understand the point of standing in line with all those interesting goats running around, and let us know he was not pleased. But the wait paid off when he got to feed the hungry goats. At first he got confused and thought Mama wanted HIM to drink the baby bottle. Didn’t he graduate to sippy cups already? But then he watched the other children and got the hang of it.
I worried the pushy goats might overwhelm BAM, and the many flies he feared that hung out with those goats, but seeing other kids involved and the novelty of these silly critters drinking baby bottles kept him focused. He even wanted to give some of the goats a brushing.
Next we saw a macaw show, and BAM was fascinated enough with the birds to sit still for all of 10 minutes. That’s a long time for a two-year old!
After the show BAM spotted the carousel. His parents didn’t want to take the ride, because his last visit to a merry-go-round ended in tears. Well, this one did, too, but not because he was afraid, but because he didn’t want it to end! Turning two gives you a different perspective on life, I suppose. 🙂
We walked through more animal exhibits, with monkeys, elephants, and a camel ride. BAM took a quick stop at the ducks and geese for more feeding.
BAM had fun throwing the food, but the heat was getting to all of us. Time for a snow cone break! And free beer (limit 2) for the adults!
At the end of the day we took BAM to the famous Clydesdales paddocks, but he didn’t want to get too close. Goats are okay, but horses are something else altogether.
I wrote by documenting the day in a journal-type book that I will give to BAM in the future. Sometimes writing is not creating fictional worlds but just a way to be a witness to real life. As BAM and I ran around Grant’s Farm together, and his parents saw his happy smiles, I felt I witnessed a small bit of healing start that day as well.
Where did you write this week?