A couple years before my youngest was born, our family had regularly scheduled weekend outings. I’m sure most parents with youngsters in the house have their weekly routines, but our family had a very specific rotation that was consistently maintained.
At the beginning of the month, we’d head over to Fernbank, the museum of natural history. The girls hated it after the second time we went. I tried to keep it fun, but I quickly found out a child can only take so many dinosaur bones before they become completely disinterested.
During one of our many visits, I told them they should be more intrigued by the exhibits because their father had wrestled dinosaurs when he was younger. Of course it took some convincing on my part to get them to begin to believe such nonsense and on some levels I do feel bad that I told them such an absurd story, but in the end, it did get them more engaged in the experience.
Next up was our trips to the glorious Chuck E. Cheese’ss. The girls loved the place and I did enjoy watching them run around like banshees, but Ann and I were always on edge. Having three small girls running around isn’t for the faint of heart. We would both enjoy the few minutes we had to sit, but we were constantly watching them as if in any second they were going to disappear.
The mouse didn’t stand the test of time though. Ann will tell you it all stems from the grungy ball pit. After a few days from visiting, one of the three would religiously spike a fever. I want to say that after the third pediatrician appointment, Ann finally asked me if I thought maybe the ball pit was the culprit...
Hikes up Kennesaw Mountain and playing in the park were always an option. We had to be careful though as to which weekend we took the drive. The problem was overcrowding. Some weekends, hundreds of weekend warriors would flock to the park looking to join in on any Civil War reenactments that might be in play. Yes, that actually happens and yes, these same gentlemen can be seen wearing their costumes in the grocery store. My guess is that their wives called them shortly after their day of treacherous battle and asked to have a gallon of milk picked up before they came home and racked their musket.
Ann’s favorite destination was the Atlanta Zoo. She always made a picnic basket and her excitement could be felt almost a day before we arrived. There are two exhibits that are a must see on Ann’s itinerary, the prairie dogs and the penguins. If the world permitted, Ann could sit and watch the penguins for days. In one case, she even started to research if it was possible to volunteer at the zoo just so she could get even closer to those snazzy birds.
So in honor of every stroller that’s unfolded, pushed and then folded back up, I present these penguins. Every time I see penguins now, I can see her watching with pure contentment. I can see her paving the way for a future that will surely thank her and most importantly, I see her, just as unconditionally as I did when I first laid eyes on her… almost eighteen years ago.
Size: 6 x 4 (inches)
Materials: 90lb Cold Press Paper
Frame: Mini Wooden Shadow Box with Glass (4 5/8"W x 6 5/8"T x 1.25"D)
Completed: Friday, October 17, 2014
Artist: Adam Kiger
Represented By: Park View Gallery
Artist's Website: www.adamkiger.com
Who is Ann and what is 31 flavors of love?!