What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Terror of the Seas March 16, 2018

Filed under: Animal Antics — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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About manatees.

No really, I have a story about sea cows.

Following the yellow brick road led me back to sunny Florida. I love Florida. It’s one of my favorite states. There are beaches and Disney, and with my Pluto obsession, it’s a really great place for me.

I’ve performed down in Florida often enough that I’ve forced my mother to visit me several times. I always try to have some kind of adventure with her when she comes to visit and once I decided that we should go swim with the manatees.

I’ll set the scene for you. My husband, sister, mother, and I don our wetsuits to commune with the gentle sea cows. It was a chilly winter morning. The canal wasn’t too crowded. There were a few manatees munching on sea grass.

The company that we went with is one of the few grandfathered in to allow interaction with the manatees, so getting to swim with them is a really special experience. You get to rub their bellies, which they really love. It should have been a beautiful memory to cherish for years to come.

I just factor in my mother being terrified of manatees. Not of snorkeling. Not of swimming. My mother was terrified of the sea cows. Every time one came near her, she would swim away in fear.

There was a videographer filming the experience, and you can see my sister and me petting the manatees. My mother swimming away from them. My sister dragging my mom forward to touch the manatee. My mother recoiling in fear like the manatee was going to electrocute her.

She claims she was worried the manatee didn’t want people near it and she would be bothering the animals, but her frantic swimming away tells another story.

So anytime you feel bad about your random fears, think of my mother who hiked the Grand Canyon but can’t rub a manatee’s belly.


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