Jr. Zookeeper Rudy

This week hasn’t been as low-key & stress-free as I had hoped but it has included a bit more summer fun…Rudy and I ventured out to Goleta Pier on Monday to watch Olivia and her fellow junior guards conduct the famed “pier jump”.  It was thrilling to watch these kids face their fears, stretch themselves physically and walk away pretty excited about their accomplishment.  Olivia was measured and stoic about the whole thing but I could tell she was pleased.  Rudy was quite curious…he tried hard to figure out what was going on as he carefully watched the jumpers, the crowd of cheering parents and the guards posted in the water.

Happy on the pier…

Wilson saw a SB Zoo event advertised on the morning news yesterday for kids with special needs and their families so we decided to be spontaneous and take advantage of this neat opportunity to roam the zoo after hours.  The zoo was open from 5-8pm for special needs kids and their families to participate in a variety of “meet ‘n greets” with different animals and zoo keepers.  It was very sweet and especially enjoyable for Rudy…no crowds, easy access to the animal displays in his wheelchair and the unique opportunity to see a snake, raven and armadillo up close!  The best part, though, was playing with the big sibs…

Getting some Wilson-love!
Our zoo may be small by some standards but it’s big enough to host a Dinosaur! Duncan the Dinosaur came out to play…Max tried hard to smile for the picture with Rudy’s panicked right grip digging into his neck!!  Ha 🙂
Rolf and I are so grateful to the SB Zoo for offering this opportunity to special kids in our community.  It was surprisingly comforting to be at a public event with families like ours…I’m not normally bugged by the stares of well-meaning onlookers when we’re out and about with Rudy but I sure noticed NOT being stared at last night and it was nice.  Even the kids commented that it was nice to see other siblings of special needs kids.  I got the sweetest compliment from one of the other dads about how engaged and sensitive Wilson, Max and Olivia are…another reminder of how blessed we are that the big sibs genuinely 


to participate in events like this that are clearly designed for Rudy and kids like him.  I wouldn’t have blamed the big sibs for not wanting to go…but I’m sure glad they did…so is Rudy!  🙂
Love these kids!

The spirit of the evening kind of gave me a taste of what our Make-A-Wish trip to Give Kids The World could be for our family and that got me more and more excited…what a morale booster and formative experience that could be for all of us!!  It’s dangerous to get too attached to something that could happen 6 months down the road…so I promise not to obsess but how fun… Ha Ha

(P.S. It’s 9:30am and Rudy is just now waking up from a long night’s sleep…I love summer!)

12 thoughts on “Jr. Zookeeper Rudy

  1. I think it is interesting to note that there is some weird formatting issue going on with this post…I wrote the post in regular paragraphs and for some reason when I published it, it broke up the 3rd paragraph and isolated the word “want”. I didn’t format it that way on purpose but I kind of think the emphasis is cool. hmmmmmm?

  2. In the upper right hand corner of the last picture (“Love these Kids”)
    I see a HEART in the shapes of the branches. Do you?

  3. What a great blog. It is wonderful to see Livy make her jump off the pier. Way to go Livy!! I’m impressed. And the great fun at the zoo. How wonderful for this opportunity. I would hug tight too, Rudy, if I saw that dinasaur up close. What an exciting day for you Rudy! Looks as if the family enjoyed the zoo, too. You are a fortunate little boy to be in your family. Love you all, Grandma Jo

  4. I love how Wilson and Max work together to carry Rudy and his dangling air hose up the slide! Your kids are so supportive of one another (I know they are like that all the time, right?!)

    Love to all the SB Geylings…you guys are my heroes!!

  5. Love this!!! Your kids look older every blog….and I’m sure their mercy and faith is growing while they care for their brother like they do!!

  6. Your Family continues to inspire me and delight me with their love for each other and their perseverance of faith. Rudy is one Blessed little Man, and is loved by so many.

  7. So glad that Rudy had that special day at the zoo, especially with his loving siblings. I hope you continue to enjoy your summer. Much love, Sandy Schaupp

  8. Love the SB zoo and glad you had so much fun there! I’m excited, too, about the possibility of your family going on that special vacation in Florida! Hope to talk soon!

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