As a mom, you roll with the punches — wipe up the milk that exploded from a sippy cup in the car and answer "Why?" questions when your kids hit the curious stage.
Having grown up in San Francisco, I discussed the issues of kidnapping, drug addiction, and homelessness with my daughter early on, but nothing prepared me for the recent conversations we've had about tigers.
She's been to the San Francisco Zoo dozens of times, enough to know that fluffy white bunnies are fed to the lions at feeding time while the room vibrates with their roars. And, that a zoo keeper's arm was mauled by Titiana, a Siberian tiger when her limb got too close.
But, the other night, my daughter had enough when I told her that she and her cousins couldn't go outside to play because we just got word that tigers may have escaped from the zoo. Since we were celebrating Christmas just blocks away at a hall in a tree lined thick on the lake, we had been warned to stay indoors while search helicopters hovered. To see what happened,
My daughter threw a tizzy, unable to grasp the fact that we weren't joking and to tell you the truth, it all seemed a bit surreal to me. As a parent, you imagine scenarios in your head and how you will protect your child, but you never picture being in the city and up against a tiger.
Sure, the family members gathered were about seventy strong, but with the slim doors and ample glass, I imagined our best bet would be to back up behind my one-year-old son and let him wail his primal scream. So it keeps our neighbors up at night, maybe it was meant to keep tigers at bay?
Needless to say, it was quite a scare. But beyond that, it taught my daughter that zoos aren't the best place for animals — they belong in the wild.