What we do on weekend nights when Daddy is at work...the aquarium.
This fish was my greatest fear as a tweenager snorkling in the Virgin Islands. I once read that the largest of the potato cods (Epinephelus tukula) have sometimes been known to swallow a diver whole, and then spit him/her out again. I never could quite shake off that visual.
Q, however, has never been afraid of fish. Her one and only fear at the aquarium is the simulated flash-flood room. And actually, her fear is much more rational than mine. My odds of being swallowed by a potato cod are exponentially smaller than her odds of being endangered by a flash flood. Here in the Rocky Mountain West, we are very close to the redrock deserts of Utah and Nevada, prime flash-flood territory. During my childless years I spent many a month hiking and camping in slot-canyon territory, where one always has to be on the lookout for microbursts that might easily turn a beautiful canyon into a deathtrap.
Q proving she is not afraid of he shark tank.
In landlocked Colorado, it sometimes feels lovely to immerse onesself in the underwater world, even if only virtually.
Ready to feed the stingrays, Q shows her fish-food-holding form. She is neither squeamish of bait fish nor fearful of the underwater critters.
It was late-night on a Sunday, and these rays had been fed heavily all weekend, so it was no easy task to attract them with food.
"Come on, come oooooonnnnnnn...."
Q is using all her charms here to attract a ray.
Nope. Passing her by.
First eye contact! Lookin' good. And then....
...full-body contact. Two stingrays entirely engulf Q's arm, up to the elbow. I'm still not sure I understand how, with their eyes on top and their mouths on the bottom, they are able to accurately select the fish snack without eating any of her fingers. But she never doubted. She didn't even flinch. She trusted them entirely. It's good to see a child so confident in the natural world that she can give this much trust to a creature of the sea.
Q loves her some stingrays, with their beautiful, flexible, silky bodies.