Growing Up Is Hard To Do Part 1
Baby stayed close to her mother as they moved through the warm ocean water.
Baby’s mom swam to the surface to breathe in some fresh air. Baby watched her mama closely and then did the same.
Baby took a deep breath in and slowly sank to the bottom of the sea. She pressed her body close to her mom’s as they searched for food together.
The manatees loved the yummy seagrass that grew in the shallow waters of the ocean. As they headed towards their favorite patch of grass, Baby remembered that she had a birthday coming soon.
But she was not happy because turning two meant living life on her own, without her mom. Manatee mothers and their babies stay close for just two years, then the mom must leave to have another baby and start the cycle of life all over again.
Summer was baby’s favorite season. She dreaded the wintertime. Manatees cannot survive in cold water and must travel inland to the warmer waters of a river.
Baby shivered at the thought of being cold.
“Mom, why don't the other fish want to play with me?” the little manatee asked her mother, as they munched on sandy turtle grass. “I know I am bigger than they are, and, OK, I am slower too, but I do have a great personality and I make them laugh.”
Baby’s mom nudged her little one's face. “Don't worry, my beautiful girl. One day you will meet your soul tribe and you will know that they are your friends right away.” “What is a soul tribe?” baby asked.
“Your soul tribe are friends that will love you just the way you are, and will only want the best for you,” Baby’s mom explained.
“I know that you feel like you don't fit in sometimes, but always remember that we are proud manatees.”
“Fish respect us, and understand that we are peaceful and kind to others,” her mother explained.
Baby thought about this for a moment. “Mom, I just wanted to be like all the other fish. I don't want to be different.”
Baby’s mom laughed. “First of all, we are not fish, we are mammals. We are warm-blooded and have hair like humans. Fish are cold-blooded and use gills to breathe under the water.”
“Manatees have lungs and must swim to the surface to breathe in fresh air every few minutes.”
“You already know that we are plant eaters and do not eat meat,” mama Manatee concluded.
“Yes, I know,” baby sighed.
Baby’s mom looked concerned. She was trying to prepare Baby for when she would be on her own.
“Being different is a good thing dear. It means there is no one else in the world quite like you, and that makes you very special,” Baby's mom said smiling.
Baby wanted to make some new friends. Maybe today would be that day, she thought as she swam towards the marina.
All manatees have poor eyesight, and Baby was no exception. What she did have was whisker-like hairs all over her body that helped to guide her towards food and away from danger.
“Oww! That hurts,” thought Baby, as one of her teeth came loose and floated to the ocean floor. Earlier that day she had wrapped her mouth around some stubborn seagrass and pulled hard.
That's how she ended up losing a few teeth. “No worries,” thought Baby. She knew that as one tooth fell out, another one would grow in its place and pretty quickly too.
Baby gently strolled around the marina. “Don't stray too far,” her mom pleaded. “I won’t,” said Baby as she swam belly-side up.
She loved to just float on the surface of the water, feeling the warmth of the sun. It made her sleepy, especially after a delicious meal and a full belly.
She was floating around the boats enjoying her playtime when she heard voices and laughter. She decided to swim a little closer to the docks, and towards the fun sounds.
Grumpy the Iguana, Green Parrot, Mr. Squirrel and Little Mouse were having a picnic in the park. It was one of the wishes from the Wish Box and a Green Parrot favorite.
The friends for sitting close to the marina.
They watched as the boats gently rocked back-and-forth and as the sunlight danced across the bay. They talked about their adventures, swapping stories and laughing as they ate their lunch.
Little Mouse decided to walk over to the dock. He wanted to check out the Fish.
As he knelt down and stared into the water, he saw two tiny eyes, and a giant mouth staring back at him. Little Mouse squeaked and ran back to tell Grumpy.
“Come quick and see this giant fish. I am not sure, but I think it's a whale,” Little Mouse exclaimed.
Everyone stopped what they were doing, and made their way over to the dock. Continued…