|Photo of the front of the shirt|
Yesterday, my plans were to work on my boat in order to get it ready to launch next week. This spring’s project has been refinishing some of the trim I didn’t get around to last spring as well as refinishing the mast (a post to come on this project). Knowing I was going to spend a day getting dirty as I worked with stains and varnish, I pulled out a box of older tee-shirts from the closet. My eyes fell immediately at a tee-shirt from Utah’s Hogle Zoo. I pulled it out thinking once again about the memories of how I came to own this shirt.
It was summer, either 2000 or 2001. I was at a meeting of some kind held in Park City, Utah and the family was with me. I had the afternoon off, so we decided to drive down to the zoo outside of Salt Lake City. My daughter would have been somewhere between two and three and was all excited about seeing the animals. Her favorite were the lions and we spent a long time watching the lions pace about in their containment areas (unfortunately, there were no gazelles for them to stalk). On our second visit to the lion’s den, not long after we’d eaten, I was holding her up so she could have a better view when she lost her lunch all over me. She, too, was covered with vomit. Of course, being responsible parents, we had a change (or three) of clothes for my daughter. I quickly got her cleaned up and in fresh clothes. But I had not planned on spoiling my clothes and the hotel was 15 or 20 miles away. My options were to parade around shirtless, take off my shirt in a rest room and wash it out and wear it soaking wet, or buy an over-price souvenir shirt. I chose the latter.
Whenever I wear this shirt, I recall with pleasure the many times I carried my little girl around in my arms. Last night, this beautiful young woman asked me if we could practice driving today as she’ll be taking driver’s ed in a few weeks. I am not really happy with the prospect of teaching my daughter to become even more independent, but she just rolls her eyes (a habit she may have inherited from me) whenever I suggest she can get her driver’s license when she’s 21.