A Four Year Old Perspective

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned before just how much I enjoy visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium. This is the second year that we’ve had a family membership to the aquarium and it’s worth every penny. I’ve been going to this Aquarium almost since it opened, and it was a real thrill to share a place that had become so special with my children.

I took my son, who’s four, for a day trip to the Aquarium a couple of weekends ago. This is the first time it has just been the two of us, and it was a pretty special day.

At the entrance to the aquarium’s Outer Bay exhibit, there is a small foyer where you can see a school of anchovies swimming in this large circular tank over your head. As it was near the end of the day, the foyer was almost empty and my son and I had a rare opportunity to look around without having to move through a crowd.

Photo credit: © Monterey Bay Aquarium/Randy Wilder

My son moved immediately to the center of the room, got down on the floor like he was making a snow angel, and said, “Daddy! Come Look! This is awesome!”

I realized at that moment, I had three choices as a parent:

  1. I could tell him to get up off of the floor.
  2. I could just let him lie there and enjoy the experience.
  3. I could lie down on the ground with him.

In spite of the fact that almost every fiber of my being was crying out to tell him to get up off the floor, I reconsidered and got down on the floor with him.

It was a totally new perspective on a room I had walked through dozens and dozens of times. I said to my son, “You’re right, Ben, this is awesome.”

It was my favorite moment of the trip.