Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sit, Fish. Down, Fish.

Another quick walk down Parents' Lane. I have a few other blogs in the works, but this one takes precedence because it happened last night, and it made everyone in the family laugh so hard that we all started laughing at each other laughing.

It's hard to admit, but my son Will doesn't really like animals. I've never really trusted people who don't like dogs, for instance, and now I've spawned one. When our dogs come busting into a room, Will turns his body away and disregards them. He never pets or shows them any affection. How can that be? Claims he's more of a cat person -- another reason to wonder about him.

My mother reminded me that Will's disinclination may have started in his early years when we visited the children's Farm Barn at Shelburne Farms -- one of the most beautiful barns and loveliest places I've ever seen: The kids would pet and tend to the farm animals, and we'd often take a picnic lunch along. When the sandwiches and chips would come out, so would the chickens. They free range about the barn and are not shy about asking for a snack. On more than one occasion, a young Will was terrified by a chicken encroaching on his lunch.

So last night, we were talking about a vacation to Florida that we're planning next month. Mia and I REALLY want to go to Discovery Cove, an attraction in Orlando where you swim with dolphins, snorkel around pool-reefs, and hang out in an aviary. But it would be REALLY expensive (by our standards) to take the whole family, so I'm trying to gauge how much interest the boys have in the adventure.

MOM: "Will, would you like to snorkel in some pools and see some fish?"
WILL: (with a supremely serious look on his face): "Well........are the fish trained?"
MOM: "What do you mean 'trained'?"
WILL: "Well, they won't bite me, will they?"

This is the point when we all launched into hysterics. While the moment can't be adequately translated into print, just think of it -- trained reef fish! It brought me to tears, and the family had a big fat family laugh. When all was said and done, Will thought maybe he'd go snorkeling, but he wouldn't let a bird sit on his arm. A cat person through and through.

(394 words)


  1. I can relate! I was like that as a child, and haven't changed much. I love puppies, but dogs... no way. The chickens at Shelburne Farms scarred (and scared) me for life, and I only went in up to my knees at the reef at Discovery Cove last year. I did enjoy the aviary, though my pulse skyrocketed as I felt little bird claws on my arms and fingers, and beaks nipping at the food in my hands. Swimming with the dolphins was fun, but who can be scared of Flipper? And yes, I have cats.

  2. Totally reasonable question. I prefer trained fish myself and wait a minute, I'm also a CAT PERSON. But these do seem like odd traits for a child of yours to possess you outdoorsy animal-loving dog person you.

  3. For the record, I love our cat too.