If you know my son Charlie, you know how captivated he is by whales.
Orcas, to be more specific.
He has this ratty, squished Orca whale named Momo that his Ama got him at the Seattle Aquarium.
It was true love, it is his most treasured possession, this stuffed whale. To the normal eye,
he looks like a stuffy among what sometimes feels like hundreds of stuffies.
I like that he has an affinity for whales, and the ocean.
I like to think that it's because he started his life as a little peanut
in the waters and the beaches of Moorea.
But his complete obsession and fascination with this specific type of whale
I find completely interesting.
Everyone thinks that the Great White sharks are the apex predators of the ocean.
But, it's actually the Orca, the Killer Whale.
I remember reading articles a few years back about how people kept finding
Great White sharks dead, with their livers removed by surgical like precision.
The blamed the fishermen.
Through the miracles of modern marine research,
(thanks to all my marine science friends, y'all are my heroes)
they found that the Orcas LOVE Great White Shark livers,
they find them to be quite the delicacy.
Great Whites will actually flee their hunting grounds
and won't return for up to a year
when Killer Whales swim by.
I love learning about what plants and animals can teach us.
Spirit animal enthusiasts say that the Orca represents
family, and teamwork.
Their black and white markings are supposed to bring forward the balance
in a world of opposites (and we need balance right now, oh my do we ever, I pray for this balance every day).
If I had to pick any toy that would resonate with him, it would be Barbies.
But it makes me wonder and hope that he grows up learning about this animal, this balance, and the depths of self-understanding.
And the importance of strong family ties, moving through life as a unit.
My hope is that Momo never goes missing, and that I don't forget what I have learned from what looks like just a stuffed animal, but is something else entirely.
(Ama and I already tried to get a backup Momo but the aquarium stopped selling them and the smallest wholesale order was 500 stuffed whales and we really considered it, doesn't everyone need a stuffed Momo?)