Finding the funny in parenthood before somebody loses an eye...

Monday, April 5, 2010

"Live Life! Kiss a Fish!"

I was kissed by a fish.  A big fish whose breath smelled of anchovies...and it was awesome.  We were on a Mexican Cruise for Spring Break and we went swimming with the dolphins in Cabo.

This has been my oldest daughter’s dream since...well, since always.  Even as a baby she teethed more vigorously on her dolphin tub toy than all the others put together.   It was obvious to my keen mothering eye, an obsession was forming.

When I saw our cruise offered an excursion to swim with the dolphins, I jumped at it.  Yes, it was expensive.   Yes, it was uncomfortable putting on all the gear.  And yes, it was scary getting into the water with a bunch of huge fish (I know, I know….they’re mammals...).  But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give my kids – especially my oldest - this once-in-a-lifetime experience.  I tell my kids every day, “life is not a spectator sport.”  This was a chance to show them exactly what I mean.

So we put on our wetsuits, jumped in the water and swam, danced with, and kissed these gorgeous creatures...

I was so psyched when another grown-up and I got picked to race each other and thought it would be fun to trash talk my competition as we swam to the starting point in the middle of the tank.  While I was busy telling him how I was going to "take him down!" both his dolphin AND MY dolphin swept up under him and carried him victoriously to the finish line. I was left behind...alone...bobbing impotently around the middle of the tank. Yes, it was "in my face" - as was a HUGE wall of fish-flavored water that got splashed in my face as the dolphins took off. My kids - and the whole group of international travelers - were convulsing with laughter.  Apparently my humiliation is funny no matter what language you speak.

The trainer, seeing me bobbing around in the center of the tank like "What the ----?” sent the dolphins back for me and delivered me to my group.

I had lost the race, but I knew that when I landed at the side of the tank and my kids were cracking up at me being “ditched by fish” and having the time of their lives that I had indeed made my point…"Life is not a spectator sport…and you don’t need to come in first place to win.”

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