Cameron has come so far.
There was a time that he would hesitate at walking past two trees close together. Two trees equaled a forest, and there were bears in the forest. Gradually, I got him used to walks in the woods, starting with urban parks with clusters of forests, building to the groomed (and fenced) park forest of the Capilano Suspension Bridge, and on to the Lynn Valley Canyon. Eventually we could take him hiking in the woods, and the prospect of seeing a bear (at a distance, please) is now more exciting than the stuff of nightmares.
He can even joke about them.
This fun was had at the Greater Vancouver Zoo. We try to go every time my dad and Janice come to visit, and I know it’s something that Cameron looks forward to. This time, Kate came with us, her first time at this zoo. She was pretty excited to see arctic animals, and was at first disappointed – only arctic wolves and arctic foxes! Just two arctic animals? But as we explored and chatted, she learned that actually, muskox, cariboo, and snow geese were also arctic animals. Cameron’s favourite was, as usual, the cheetah. But we did get up close with a black bear and a grizzly bear too, watching them get fed. And the lions, though this was a riskier affair … the male has discovered spraying. They aren’t kidding. Stay a good 10 feet back from a male lion. Aside from a bit of behavioural issues with a monkey (that would be Cameron), the day was a good one!