Monday, September 10, 2007

My Fairy Tale Ending

I kissed my prince and he turned into....a dolphin. That would be the happy ending to my fairy tale. All my life I have loved dolphins. As a pre-teen I would walk the mile and a half to our town library and spend Saturday afternoons studying about dolphins, then go home to dream about them. Luckily when I got my license I could drive to the Salt Lake library which had greater depth and variety to my favorite subject, but still spend my free time studying this fantasy of mine, instead of at least dream of dating-like any healthy 17 year old.

When I was pregnant with Angela, Roy and I traveled to San Diego's "Sea World." Tears ran down my cheeks the moment the dolphins swam into the large show pool. After the show, Roy held me as I continued to cry and tried to make sense of my feelings. Dramatic? Okay, no question, but it was the pinnacle of all I had dreamed. I was just a hick, small town, Utah girl who wasn't ever going to go to such exotic places as San Diego, California. But- exotic did enter my life when, as a young mother, we moved five miles from our own "mini" Sea World. At this marine world there was a dolphin petting pool, which I would spend every second my whining children would allow. *Note: they had a point - they were missing the whale show, the tiger show, and the fantastic playground, while mom wooed this fat dolphin called Gordo. But Gordo and I became best of friends. He allowed me, and me only, to pet him when I was there, ignoring all the other reaching hands. After letting my children drag me away to actually spend time with them, I returned to Gordo after an hour absence. He circled the pool increasing his speed till water slooshed out, finally rising high above me to spit in my face. I was devastated until the docent explained that he was acting out his anger; after all, I had abandoned him for a whole hour. Gordo died about a year later and that was then end of my dolphin days. Although my son Pat, who lives in Hawaii, frequently has awesome encounters with dolphins ( I'll let him blog about ), it still left me on the outs. But, this summer we went to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom - a cheesy, tacky excuse for "animal shows", in the guise of an amusement park. James and Chase got splashed by the orcas, but the show was bad. It would hurt too much to see the sacrilege they would make of the dolphin show. I just couldn't go. But just before we left I saw a small sign in a neglected corner of the park, "$45.oo to pet a dolphin" - sooo..., I used to pet Gordo free as often as I wanted, sooo... Pat gets to swim in their native environment; free of gimmicks and a pure encounter, so? I'm desperate. I paid. I petted and rubbed and cooed and kissed and even now, writing about it, tears are welling in my eyes. Dramatic? Yeah, but......he's my prince.


Roy said...

Did the fact that I was a swimmer in high school help spark your interest in me? Love reading and remembering your dolphin encounters. Sounds like we should go to Hawaii soon! (I guess I was more out-of-it last time I was on Pat's boat than I remember....what else did I miss?)

angie said...

i love that you love dolphins - i think i even thought dolphins were my favorite animal for a good part of my youth...your love carries over!

Emily said...

i have not yet had the chance to comment on this blog- for the record, since i read this several days ago- i go to bed thinking about this picture every night!! xoxoxoxo

Mason Manor said...

Hi Katherine!
This was my fisrt visit to your blog and I am hooked for life. I already read the whole blog, so I'll keep checking back for new posts. You write so beautifully (i'm a little jealous). Thanks for sharing all your thoughts!
Ashley Mason

Jared said...

What a great picture of you, it is so good to see you even if it is on a computer. Love ya tonz