Crush and Squirt are the names of the kids’ new sea turtles. (My son is quick to correct me that they are not sea turtles… they’re aquatic turtles. So I stand corrected.) Scott managed to sneak out with our daughter to a local shop while we were on our Florida Spring Break and any chance I had of not becoming the owner of aquatic turtles was gone forever when they saw a huge litter of baby aquatic turtles that needed homes. (I’m not sure that “litter” would be the correct veterinarian term for a large mass of turtle hatchlings, but suffice it to say there were many.)
Upon their return from the shop, Riley bounded in and reported (within Jackson’s range of hearing), “Daddy says we might be able to get sea turtles!”
“What?! Sea turtles!! Yyyyes!!” Jackson was instantly excited by the news.
I looked at Scott in shock… “Uh… Sea turtles? Seriously?”
“They’re sooo cute!” Scott said in his most irresistible voice.
That’s why I love him. That’s also why he would be in charge of directing and coordinating an eleven hour drive home with two baby sea turtles. Errr… aquatic turtles. They made the trip okay and we bought a book in Florida which Jackson read in-depth during the drive home. Turns out aquatic turtles are a little high maintenance… and they can have a long, long lifespan. As in 70-plus years! So we invested in the necessary supplies and equipment to get them all set up for a happy life, complete with tank, filter, heater, basking lamp, floating dock, special food, drops for the water, decorations to pimp out their tank, and a calcium block that looked like a surfboard but which they were supposed to eat.
Now, they are part of the landscape of our home. Meanwhile Maggie, my precious black lab mix, is completely unimpressed. She still follows me wherever I go, scares the UPS man on a bi-weekly basis and I\’m pretty sure I saw her roll her eyes when the entire family gathered around the turtles’ tank wondering if Crush’s shell was slightly discolored because he wasn’t basking for the correct number of hours at the perfect temperature.
“All this time,” Maggie must think, “I have done my business in rain, sleet, wind and other miserable conditions and no one once worried that my fur was wet and matted. Never did a single human pull out a heat lamp and stroke me. And anyway, what kind of names are “Crush” and “Squirt?! They aren’t even human names. Puleeease!”
Meanwhile, Crush and Squirt are seemingly unimpressed with Maggie. They see her take 14 hour-a-day naps across the room and must wonder, “If she’s so high and mighty with her human name… then let’s see her swim 8 to 10 hours a day!”
But it’s funny. The turtles are doing their thing… Maggie is doing hers. And any true conflict between them has been created by me! I’m the one with the opinion, so I pretend they should have one. I think the world we live in is kind of like that. We’re all just doing what we do until some third party has to compare… or connect… or comment with their own slant or perspective. Then suddenly we’re questioning each other or ourselves. Swimmers should just have the freedom to do what they were meant to do — swim. Crush and Squirt don’t need to be Maggie. Maggie is Maggie. They can’t take anything away from that.
May we all swim, nap, protect, baske… or rather write, sing, dance, teach, lead, parent, bake, fix cars, etc… thriving in our uniqueness without stooping to question ourselves because someone had the gall to compare us with anyone else. We\’re apples to oranges. We all add different wonderful things to the landscape that is the planet earth. Let’s embrace it and do our thing in freedom!