Remembering Our Son’s First Visit to SeaWorld

My son is 5. Oh how those words fill me with pride and emotion. It seems like only yesterday we had him, and soon after that were visiting SeaWorld. He had some health issues at birth, so that first visit included a monitor and lots of wires. He slept through most of the day, I admit, but his parents were refreshed and renewed, taking in all the loveliness and beauty around us. A dolphin baby splashed right by us at the nursery. We smiled, looking at our little baby squirming in our arms.

We took turns holding him and pushing the stroller. We paused to watch the sea lions. All in all, I remember imagining all the amazing things we’d do here at SeaWorld with this tiny little boy of ours. Sigh.

Jump to the present.

Aforementioned baby is now 5. Five! My head spins when this kid who used to be so tiny just flies by me, running top speed. It’s birthday time, and he (again!) wants a SeaWorld theme. (To read about our other party, click here.)

Already this week we’ve sorted his “buddies” (a.k.a. stuffed animals) for the event. He wants all the penguins to be in their own habitat. No, we can’t use real ice. He’d like the birds to be in an aviary. Yes, we can put out some bird seed, but our guests do NOT have to sample it. Our remote control shark needs a pond to swim in. “Can we use the baby pool if we still have it?” he asks. It’s a lot of fun having him figure out how he wants it all to look, and what he wants people to see and do.

I’m in high gear coming up with food items for the occasion. I found some adorable penguin appetizers made out of cream cheese, carrots, and olives. We’re also serving “hot-dog-topuses.” (Check out the items I’m working on at Pinterest and if you have a great party idea, send it on!)

I firmly believe that conservation begins with inspiration. Even at 5, my son is already developing a tremendous respect and love for those with whom we share our world. He’s mindful of recycling, reducing our use of natural resources, and caring for animals. It brings me great joy that even in his idea for a party he wants to teach others about marine animals and share the love and joy of being near them and appreciating their awesomeness.

It all started with a visit to SeaWorld nearly 5, FIVE, years ago. I’m grateful!

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