Today is World Oceans Day. We celebrated by visiting The National Aquarium, which we coincidentally visited a year ago on World Oceans Day. We just happened to be walking by and dropped in. This time we were more deliberate and took a taxi. Hey. It was really hot today. By the time, I returned home I was glad I did. Lucy has a small cold.
Lucy is slightly obsessed with crocodiles due to her love of the children’s book series featuring Lyle the Crocodile. I have an extensive series of handmade crocas, as she calls them on my phone. The first pic is actually of an American Alligator, but we said hello and goodbye to the croca. It was her first real encounter and she wasn’t scared.
I picked her up to see a snake and that was a different story. Even though I showed her various snakes in the aquarium, she almost jumped out of her skin once she realized what was in the case. By the time I put her down, her heart was racing. I’m not sure why it frightened her. Muscle memory? Her great-grandmother, Memaw was petrified of snakes. But she has no real reason to be scared of snakes. Same is true of dogs. She is genuinely petrified. I don’t like dogs and neither does my mom. But I’ve been mindful not to teach my fear to Lucy. Didn’t matter. She inherited that fear just the same.
The National Aquarium was a great way to spend a hot afternoon in DC. I had to pay to get in, so the trip was a little pricey with the cab fare. The Aquarium is located in the basement of the Department of Commerce. It is almost completely dark aside from the lights in the glass cases housing the animals. Just the type of place you want to be when it is boiling hot outside. It is in a comfortable, confined space, which allowed Lucy to roam freely at her own pace. Even if she ran ahead of me, the space is small enough that I never lost her. Plus it did not feel crowded even on an active day.
As part of the World Oceans Day program, a short video on a loop presented the need to protect the sharks. Without them, we would lose the natural balance and other fish would eat all of the scallops and shrimp. Then what would we eat? Sharks reproduce about the rate of my immediate family. Very slowly, if at all. The Seafood Watch smart phone app helps you make responsible choices in ordering seafood. Sometimes it’s so hard to decide. I’ll take all the help I can get. After coloring and watching the video, we made a final round to visit some of the animals we colored. Sadly the octopus passed away a couple of weeks ago after a long life. He/she really freaked me out last year. Very active critter! The sharks were busy eating and the seahorses were sleeping. But the family of turtles did not disappoint. The swam right up to us – Daddy, Mama and Baby. Mama and baby gave quite a show because he wanted to ride Mama’s back despite her wishes. He finally clamped on with his tail in the end.
When we returned home, we received a package in the mail. It was just what we needed. A new pair of summer shoes. Cama sent us shark slippers. Cool shoes. And perfect timing.