Why I should have been on the evening news

No, it has nothing to do with family services or anything like that.  (Just in case that was your first guess.)  I was a hero.  Well kind of a bumbling, awkward, and maybe a teeny bit screaming hero, but a hero all the same.

I went to the zoo yesterday with my children, my mother-in-law and 3 nieces and nephews.  There was supposed to be a shark feeding, so we headed to the aquarium wing.  There’s a display part in the middle that has sharks (not the man-eating kind) and stingrays.  To set the scene accurately, they’re all about the size of a standard bed pillow.  The tank is open on the top, and probably about three or four feet deep or so, and maybe overall the size of a putting green. A fairly large display.  Kids can stand on the side and put their hands in the water and if anything swims near to the top, you can stroke its back.  But it’s quite deep and usually the creatures are all out of reach.  Believe me, we’ve stood there for hours before because Grant just couldn’t go until he made contact.


Yesterday, I walked up behind my own children just in time to see a little girl to Grant’s right go up on her tip toes, bend over the glass and reach just far enough that she FELL IN THE SHARK TANK HEAD FIRST!  Her feet were up in the air and over the edge of the glass so she was literally submerged upside down and couldn’t get her head back above water.  After my tiny (but very brave) scream, I bent over, reached all the way down into the water grabbed under her shoulders and pulled her head up out of the water.  Then I lifted her up and out of the tank.

I will try to refrain from social commentary when I say that some lady from the day care she was visiting with looked at me, came over from across the display, walked away with the girl and said NOTHING to me.  My shirt and pants were wet, and I was a tad freaked out, but mostly unharmed.

This may not actually sound that heroic to anyone, but just about a month ago I had a slight panic attack while canoeing on the river because I have a phobia of contact with lake and/or river and/or ocean creatures.  And I saw Jaws.  So I think I deserve some kind of good citizen medal or something for flinging myself into a shark and stingray tank.