A number of weeks ago, our wish granter called to tell me about an enhancement activity she put together for Pookster and the rest of us. This is an activity/something special Make A Wish tacks on to an otherwise already wholly wonderful once in a lifetime opportunity that, well, completely adds to ~ or enhances ~ the original wish. It involved a behind-the-scenes look into our personal favorite show of all time:
The PNC Bank Sea Lion Show
at the world famous St. Louis Zoo!!!
(I'm not kidding - we love that show! T could be heard throughout our tour, "You say that in the show." "I've heard that in the show." Yes, we go every time we visit the zoo in the summer! And this time - WE were on the stage!) That's right - today we would have been home from Hawaii with just one more wee li'l day off from school to go behind-the-scenes with the sea lions. An activity I've tried to sign Pookie up for for two years in a row - and they always get booked up before she gets in. You might remember this story and here when Meiners was picked from the audience. Solidified Pooks' desire to be the star. And today was her day. Despite a change of plans for Hawaii, we agreed we couldn't miss this opportunity.
Pookie enjoyed the absolute time of her life. And so did I. I may have mentioned previously that in high school I wanted to be a doctor. But in college, I wanted to be a marine biologist. When I couldn't cut Chem120 and Calculus, I settled on becoming a speech pathologist. My senior year, however, I managed to win a coveted scholarship within my department by writing an essay describing my desire to incorporate my two loves - biology and talking - in hopes of one day studying and exploring the benefits of using marine life to facilitate communication in children with limited expressive skills. Yeah. I was pretty idealistic. Especially since I applied to grad school and attended in the midwest. Where there were no dolphins. (Is there any question that Pookie is a Mini-Me when her favorite animal is ... the dolphin??)
Today she received the royal treatment. She walked through the aquatic offices, watched Benny take a bath, explored the show stage, and participated in her own private PNC Bank Sea Lion Show! And then the rest of us did, too! (Minus daddy - 5 people was the limit.) Pookie recieved a sea lion stuffed animal (OMG - can you say HEAVEN??) and everyone else got frisbees. We all brought home zoo hats, some zoo cups, and a whole lot of exhaustion. Plus, memories of an absolute lifetime.
Thanks CJ, Make A Wish, and the St. Louis Zoo for giving me this: