Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!  And four "little monkeys" sitting on a...dinosaur?  That appears to be sinking...in cement?

Or, in other words, a trip to the zoo!  And speaking of the "monkeys" and their recess atop T-Rex...aren't they adorable?  My kiddos and my niece and nephew ceased running around trees and screaming at zoo patrons long enough for a photo op.  Check out Ms. Brynlee B, the Blond Bombshell.  A doll, right?

We lost her at the zoo.

(No, I mean it.  We really lost her.)

The zoo was packed with a "capital p" on Saturday--people and wagons and coolers and strollers EVERYWHERE.  It was the first warm, sunny, "It-Really-Looks-Like-Summer-Is-Coming" kind of day that most Utahans had seen in a while.  When the sun shows it's bright, lemon drop-like face, what happens?  Families go to the zoo.

After a picnic, a carousel ride, and a few chuckles at the baby elephant and the lazy tigers lounging in the shade, we knew it was time to head home.  Somewhere between the primate house and the restrooms, we lost Ms. B.  To say it was terrifying might be an understatement.

We immediately split up, scouring the zoo grounds in search of her.  (Kudos to my brother for remaining calm and to my gorgeous sis-in-law for being brave enough to go into the men's restrooms and shout, "Brynlee!  Brynlee!"  When a child is lost, a good mom searches everywhere...even places with urinals.)

I'm not sure how long Brynlee was MIA at the zoo.  15 minutes?  Perhaps 20?  It felt like forever.  Time stood as still as a tree on a stagnant, windless day.

Eventually, my niece was found by the giraffe enclosure.  She had been found--frightened, alone, and upset--by a nice security guard.  Blessedly, the scary ordeal had a happy ending.  I watched as Brynlee embraced her relieved and thankful parents.  As my brother's big, strong arms encircled her, I saw a calmness overcome her demeanor.  I saw peace in her sweet face.

Later, Tyler, James, Danelle (Ty's lady love), and I were talking about all that had transpired.  I turned to James and said, "What if that had been Lilly?  I would have been a mess.  Maybe we need to talk to Lilly about what to do if she gets lost.  What should we tell her to do?"

After a number of ideas were given--from "start screaming as loud as you can," to "don't move and stay right where you are," Danelle said something so simple, yet so "tug-at-your-heart" profound:

"Tell her, 'You can say a prayer.'" 

Life is like a busy zoo, isn't it?  Hectic.  Chaotic.  Overwhelming.  Crowded.  Exhausting.  Stressful.  It is easy to get lost in our responsibilities and obligations, becoming less focused on "the bigger picture."  It is easy to get lost in trials and adversities, forgetting to have eternal perspective.  It is easy to get lost in misguided priorities and in selfishness, in life's sorrows and disappointments, and sadly, in faithlessness.  It is easy to get lost in the world. 

Like Brynlee finding her way into her daddy's secure arms, we can find our divine Father in prayer.  What a joyous blessing that is!
 Life is like a zoo, and sometimes we get lost.
We can say a prayer.
We will find our way to peace again.


  1. Well . . . you got me. I am bawling. :) Beautiful written! I love it. I am printing it out and keeping it in Brynlee's journal.
    Thanks for such a fun day at the zoo! I love you!

  2. And goodness . . . Mason's head looks huge in that pic! Ha ha ha!

  3. Beautiful!
    Lisa F

  4. It's like I'm dating Aristotle or Confucius! Haha!


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