Friday, July 9, 2010

Deadbeat Parenting

I am a deadbeat parent. Somewhere in the North Atlantic, there is an Orca whale in J-pod wondering where it's adoptive human parent is and why she hasn't sent in any salmon for years now.

My criminal parenting started not long after seeing Free Willy. I loooooved Free Willy. I practically became an environmentalist after I saw it (along with being a paleontologist, since Jurassic Park came out the same year). I think I saw it in the theater, but I know I definitely saw it at home. Because at the end of the credits, they had a phone number you could call to donate money and adopt a whale.

"Mom? Dad? Can I adopt one of those whales?!"

Sure, they said. Sometime later, my whale paperwork came in. I had a photo of the back of some Orca from the J-Pod, all sorts of Save the Whales paperwork, and a nifty certificate basically saying the whale was "mine."

Awesome! I thought. I set the paperwork on my overcrowded desk and went on my merry way.

I NEVER saw that paperwork again. And I mean NEVER. Somewhere in the shuffle of cleaning, school paperwork and the passage of time, that folder of J-Pod paperwork disappeared.

Probably a year or two later, the whale paperwork suddenly popped into my brain. I frantically tore through everything in my room trying to find it, but it was to no avail. I was pretty sad about it. What would become of my whale? Was I supposed to follow up on it in any way? I have no idea because I am a negligent whale parent.

Why? Why did you abandon me?
I was 7 and I lost the paperwork! I'm sorry!

Why I remember that the whale is from the J-Pod, I'll never know. But as you might have guessed from this blog, my brain holds on to some pretty random information.

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