Today, We Swim With Fishes

The morning was gray.  Thick clouds snuffed out the sunlight.   It was early, much too early for a Friday morning, for us to be awake and tackling a day.

The secret had remained safe, tucked within the confines of mine and my husband’s brain.  Once, just the night before, my husband had nearly opened the gates of Castle Secret and allowed the family adventure to escape prematurely.   Fortunately, the wheels remained locked and the chains never allowed the bridge to unfurl.   We’d planned the day for weeks, discussing in depth what we would do, and clinging to the mercy of Mother Nature before we could truly decide.   The mists of rain, saddening fog, and all around dullness of the morning gave us our answer.   We needed bright colors, non stop entertainment, and adventures galore.

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At 7:00 a.m., The Doser Family Friday of Fun trekked out into the dismal morning.   My husband and I had only moments before decided to share with our boys where we were going…The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.

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Davey seems to have an obsession with whale sharks and stingrays.   He talks of them profusely, reading and re-reading the book of sea creatures given to him by his Aunt Dee Dee.   He can tell the difference between the various species of sharks and whales, determining which is which and what each one’s purpose is.   Once we told him of our adventure, made even more special by the fact that Daddy was taking an entire day off from work, his chatter never ceased.   Would we pet stingrays?  Would we see whale sharks?  What about crabs?

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Two years ago, while Henry was a mere six months old, we made our first trip to the Georgia Aquarium.   We touched stingrays, met a real live Nemo, watched a dolphin show, and rode along a conveyor belt through a tunnel of water full of fish.   Obviously, Henry couldn’t recall it, but Davey still did.

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He was at full speed as we walked into the aquarium, eager to go from one exhibit to the next.   My husband and I took a deep breath, as Henry struggled to break free from our grasp and chase after his brother.   We were in for an exhausting day, a long day, and a day we were sure would test our true levels of patience.

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As we made our way through, I saw the aquarium through a different set of eyes.   I saw a true inquisitive nature, one of wonder and excitement.   For me, an aquarium has always been nothing more than ho-hum.   I see the fish and various sea creatures with not much curiosity.   My boys?   Their wonderment never ceases to amaze me.

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I watched as their eyes grew narrow when truly studying a fish.   Their heads would tilt from one side to the next.   Henry would slowly take his finger and push on the glass while asking what kind of fish we were looking at.   When the glass wall emerged, with three beluga whales swimming towards them, my boys jumped with excitement, their eyes growing wider.   Davey tried to run along the glass wall eager to keep pace with the whales, while Henry just stood in amazement, his mouth agape.

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We watched the dolphin show.  Henry tilted his head back and laughed hysterically with each somersault performed by the dolphins.   “That’s silly,” he would exclaim before another belly laugh would overtake him.

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We watched a 4D version of Happy Feet in the theatre and when the whale crashed down into the water, we felt sprays of water as well.   Davey laughed, while Henry shook his head and pursed his lips looking as if he were sucking on a lemon.   My husband and I, alone, would have had an enjoyable time, but we wouldn’t have had an adventure and the time of our lives.   We wouldn’t have laughed as hard as we did, smiled as much, or even run as much.

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As the day closed out, the rain began coming down.   We quickly, but sluggishly, walked back to the car.   Once in the car, and after surviving a power outage in Atlanta, our boys were fast asleep.   While watching them nap, I thought of how my husband and I use to be able to go places at the drop of the hat.   We would vacation in Jamaica, cruise the Caribbean, spend a last minute weekend in the mountains.   We used to do all of this, but I can’t recall having the same level of fun as we had when with our boys on Friday.

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I Can’t Go For That…But I Did

And so starts the holiday season. It’s the season of giving thanks, although that’s something we should consciously do every second, every minute, every hour of our lives. It’s the season for parties, for celebrations of the love we share. It’s a time for family gatherings, gorging ourselves with some of the unhealthiest of foods. It’s the season to toss out that exercise regime because you know deep down you’re not going to be able to really lose any weight. It’s the season for shopping, snagging deals, wrapping presents, decorating houses, and to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Yes, the holiday season is officially upon us.

First season at the new Yankee stadium
First season at the new Yankee stadium

Last week, the day before Thanksgiving, my husband and I decided to load up the boys and make a trip to Atlanta. We wanted to do a little pre-holiday shopping. When we go on road trips, it’s my responsibility to man the controls of our entertainment. I’ve always been one to sing and dance to music. I like to choose some of the cheesiest melodies and groove away. I stumbled across Hall & Oates’ “I Can’t Go For That”. My husband told our oldest son, that this duo was a true classic, some of the best singer/songwriters around. I looked at him and smiled. I knew what he was thinking. He was thinking about our first ever New Year’s Eve together almost 11 years ago.

Experiencing Niagara Falls
Experiencing Niagara Falls

We were at a friend’s house watching Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve. Hall & Oates were one of the featured groups and they were singing an all time favorite, “Maneater”. So every time I hear a Hall & Oates song, I’m immediately transported back to that first New Year’s Eve. All of this then led me to think about everything I’m thankful for and how it couldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t met this wonderful man.

Cruising in St. Lucia
Cruising in St. Lucia

We sat in traffic on the ride back, rummaging through our memories as I replayed all the Hall & Oates songs on my iPod. Our boys had fallen asleep which left us some very precious peace and quiet to really reflect upon each other and how far we’ve come.

I can still remember the day my husband first walked into my life, how he smiled as he slid through the door of my friend Jennifer’s apartment. He was, and still is, the most handsome man I’d ever laid eyes on. I watched him briefly before averting my eyes when he caught me staring. No way would someone this hot ever be interested in me, were the exact words floating through my brain. Luckily for me, I was the first person he came over to talk to.

Charlotte NASCAR race
Charlotte NASCAR race

We dated, broke up, dated again, got married, separated briefly, came to our senses and worked through our problems, and eventually brought 2 boys into this world exactly like us. We’ve had a roller coaster of a ride in the past 11 years, some of which I regret and would change, but everything brought us to who we are and where we are today and for that I’m thankful.

Tampa Aquarium
Tampa Aquarium

I’m thankful beyond words that my husband chose me to talk to 11 years ago. I’m thankful that he fell in love with me. I’m thankful that when he broke up with me, he came to his senses and realized that he wanted me back. I’m thankful that he asked me to marry him. I’m thankful that he didn’t give up on our marriage, when I had. I’m thankful that he became a Christian, thereby helping to insure our home has a strong Christian leader. I’m thankful for the children he helped me bear, the beautiful boys who are replicas of both of us, two of my most precious little gifts in the world. Without my husband, I can only imagine how I may have aimlessly walked through life never experiencing the true love and enjoyment of being a mother.

Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach

My children are my greatest accomplishment and no way could I have ever achieved that without my husband.

As the Thanksgiving weekend rolled along, I watched every movement my husband made. I watched him interact with our two boys, watching television, reading books, and helping cook. I watched every little nuance and my heart swelled with so much love and contentment. No way would any of this life have been possible without him.

I am truly blessed beyond all belief and for that I’m thankful.

Alcatraz
Alcatraz