When I was six years old, my parents took me for my very first trip to Chicago. It was something I had been looking forward to for weeks. This wasn’t any ordinary trip to the city. This trip had one objective: dinosaurs!
It was a few weeks before my brother was to be born. My parents wanted to do one last really special trip with just me, knowing I would have to adjust after the baby came. In those days, I was a dinosaur nut. I had hundreds of dinosaur toys. I had books, both for kids, and actual scientific dinosaur books. I could tell you the scientific name of each dinosaur, and other facts like what it ate or how big it was. I had everything a dinosaur loving kid could want. And now I was going to see them in person at the Field Museum in Chicago.
If you’ve never been there, you should go. It’s not just got dinosaurs, but we also were able to see the King Tut exhibit, some other prehistoric life exhibits, and even some Native American history. But I digress. When we entered the museum, we were greeted by Sue*, the famous T-Rex skeleton. It was like a dream. The whole mourning we walked around and took pictures. I mostly just stared in awe. I often wonder what it was like for my parents to be able to watch me as I walked among my most favorite things in the world. We left with more than enough dinosaur souvenirs from the gift shop and made for some famous deep dish pizza.
I still remember that day like it was yesterday. I remember the smells, the sound my shoes made walking in the big hallways. There have been many milestones in my life. The day I went from being an only child to a big brother. The day I got my drivers license. Graduation. And yet I don’t remember any of them half as well as I remember that day. I take life for granted more often than not, and also the people around me. What I wouldn’t give for another day like that day, filled with awe at the site of something from a different world, and to be able to share it with those I love.
*Editor’s note: Apparently I misremembered my story, as it was not Sue I saw when I was six years old, but a different dinosaur. Sue was not unveiled until the year 2000. It was in my haste that I recalled seeing Sue, which I have seen, just not on that particular visit. Doh.