Long ago, in some of my earliest yesterdays, I took a trip. Amidst mouse-eared balloons, sky-painting lasers & flying elephants, we approached the dinosaurs.
My father ushers me into place with the rest of my family. We begin our journey to the Mesozoic Era…the age of the dinosaurs.
Entering in darkness, unsure of what lay ahead, we creep tentatively under huge palm leaves. Something red is glowing up ahead, huge moving shadows warn me of coming doom. Dinosaurs.
These things are huge. They are moving. They are not stationary models, replica skeletons. In my 6 year old mind, with widened terrified eyes, if I’d know the words, I would have been saying “holy s$*#!!” If I wasn’t held in by a lap bar and my dad, I would have been in full on flight mode, running hysterically through the dark in a desperate search for 1987. Horror. Terror. I thought these guys were extinct?! But there I am, trapped in dinosaur land, eyes squeezed shut in hopes I’d survive this slow moving train of death.
All the while, as heart palpitations and sweat consume me, hysteria setting in, my poor Dad is trying in his logical, parental way to force me to look at these monstrous, man-eating beasts, promising they’re not alive.
Um, did you SEE them? They’re chewing on leaves and roaring for pete’s sake!? Not real?! You are kidding me!
Somehow these people don’t understand the situation. We are all going to die. Eaten by dinosaurs at Disney World. Perhaps crushed by a giant foot, chomped by a tyrannosaurus….who knows what horrific end awaits?
Well, so maybe I was mistaken. We made it out alive. Shaken and scarred for life, yes, but alive.
Traveling from the Jurassic period (or Triassic, Cretaceous…who knows?!) to present day, one week removed, you arrive at my 32nd birthday. One night over dinner, the kids asked me if I’d ever seen dinosaur bones. Well, yes, I answered, they are in museums. After a quick google, I announce that there’s a stegosaurus skeleton at a natural history museum an hour away.
So we take a trip. To see dinosaurs. On my birthday.
Call it motherly love, parental sacrifice. I STILL do. not. like. dinosaurs.
But we came, we saw, we photographed, we cheesed, we went. There were more dinos than I expected. Gross.
But the kids were AMAZED. I guess it was cool.
But they give me the creeps. Thanks Dad.
The one and only drawing of a dinosaur I will EVER do…
A few photographs from our adventures at the Anniston Museum of Natural History: