When we went to Universal Studios in September, we spent an evening in Jurassic Park. Neither kid seemed that interested in the exhibit and wouldn't cooperate with pictures which was frustrating. I wanted to yell, "We are at Universal Studios - marvel!" But they did not marvel and did not follow the script in my head which is typical. Then, Zeca asked to borrow my phone to take a few pictures and I gave it to her and watched as she focused on the giant T-rex and took several pictures and I got excited because it seemed that she might be on the verge of some mild marveling so I asked if she wanted me to take her picture and she said, "no." It was an emphatic "no," the kind of "no" a dinosaur might give--not a T-rex but maybe an agitated brontosaurus. In response, I stepped away and left her to her picture taking. A few minutes later, she gave me my phone and went to find Miguel. I looked through the pictures and they were awful. They were blurry and, in some, the dinosaur was barely visible and I was annoyed.
While she and Miguel wandered around I became increasingly irritated which makes no sense at all because it's not like she wasted film. She came back as we got ready to leave and I asked her about the pictures, "Why did you take these pictures? You can't even see the dinosaur!"
I knew I was being ridiculous but I was tired and it was hot and the evening had not gone as I'd hoped it would due to the previously noted lack of marveling. More than that, however, the kids didn't seem all that interested in spending time with me. This was not the family vacation I imagined and I channeled my disappointment onto those blurry digital pictures of a fake dinosaur.
Zeca stared up at me and said, "I'm sorry, mama. I took them to make it look like I found a dinosaur and it ate me." She reached for my phone, her expression asking if she could show me. She opened the pictures and said, "You have to look at them in order." She then flipped through the pictures and I saw them as she saw them and I was humbled by her creativity.
She gave me back the phone and all I could do was apologize for my impatience and pull her in for a hug.
It was another lesson for me on letting go of expectations and I am thankful I learned that lesson the first night because it made the rest of the trip more memorable.
So, I don't have pictures of the kids together at Jurassic Park but I have this which is so much better. "Better" is often what you get when you finally let go.