I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and I feel my blog readers and I have reached a point in our relationship where certain stories are no longer taboo to tell. That means it’s time to introduce you to Bob the turtle. Bob joined our family in July last year after some poor decision making on my part, and much to my husband’s discontent, he’s been thriving at the Clark residence ever since.
You see, my sister Karri came to visit Florida for the first time over the 4th of July. We had big plans to fill the week with fun activities to introduce her to our beautiful state. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out so well; we ended up with torrential downpours throughout the week. We decided to make the most of it. One day we loaded up and headed to some of the touristy shops on the beach…which was Mistake #1.
Mistake #2 was walking in to one of those shops with my sister and daughter (both suckers for animals), and seeing the cute baby turtles for sale at the front of the store. I don’t know who was worse; Ayla or my sister Karri…and I may have been a little excited too. We all couldn’t stop looking at how cute they were. We quickly decided we each had to have one; after all they were only $9.99! What a deal!
We eagerly picked out two turtles. As we got to the car with our new found friends, Ayla did the honors of selecting a well thought out name for both of the turtles…Bob. We giggled the whole way home with our Bobs, ignoring any glimmer of reason that may have tried to enter into our minds.
As soon as we got home I was greeted by loving husband who took one look at Bob and said, “Really Jenn? Who’s going to take care of that? Where on earth are you going to put the thing?” His annoying questions weren’t going to phase me…nope not one bit! He wasn’t going to ruin my enthusiasm for my totally awesome new pet.
“I will duh!” I replied, “We’re going to the store to get them a fabulous new habitat right now!” And off we went to the pet store. How hard could it be anyway? We got some little plastic cages, a little rock for him to sit on, and some food…done! $30 in supplies, no big deal. Do you sense my foreshadowing?
My sister and her Bob went home several days later, and Ayla and I continued to bask in our excitement over ours. Even my little guy Dylan couldn’t get enough of the turtle. What a win for me; I have a new pet, I’m teaching my kids about responsibility, and frankly feeling like a pretty awesome Mom! Then it happened. Greg did the unthinkable….he read the instructions on the bottle of the food.
“Hey sweetheart and love of my life?” he asked, “Have you read this?”
“Well obviously I have Greg!” I answered, “I’m supposed to feed him twice a day with just a little pinch.” I knew he was going somewhere with that comment, and I felt certain it was a place I’d prefer not to go to.
“Huh, that’s interesting. It says here turtle habitats require a filter, a heat light, and a UV light, I bet that’s cheap. Let’s look this up online shall we?”
Uh oh…Greg and a computer searching for facts not in my favor…not good. In his search he confirmed not only the habitat requirements, but also that you should avoid having a turtle for a pet all together. They are carriers of Salmonella, the same bacteria you find in raw chicken, a major oversight on my part.
“Don’t you know this? Aren’t you a PA or something?” he said, “Maybe we should just run out and get some raccoons and expose our kids to rabies while we’re at it!”
Ugh! I felt awful. I talked to our vet, who reassured me that as long as we used proper hygiene we would be ok. I dragged myself back to the pet store and picked up the rest of the supplies for the appropriate habitat. $150 later, Bob was all set up. My $9.99 turtle all of a sudden wasn’t looking so awesome.
Despite these setbacks, I’m happy to report Bob is doing very well. What I took from this whole experience are four important lessons:
- Avoid letting your emotions drive your decision-making process: This story is a great example of how I let my excitement get in the way of my common sense. Had I taken a step back and did some research on what I was getting myself into, I’m quite certain Bob wouldn’t have been purchased that day.
- If you make a mistake make the most of your situation: Buying Bob that day was clearly not the smart thing to do, but I owned it. I chose to make the most of it and move on.
- Learn from your mistake: Every mistake holds a valuable lesson. The key is recognizing it and applying it to your life.
- Never lose your sense of humor: Being able to laugh at yourself is an incredible gift. I’m quite sure Greg will never let me forget the “Bob incident.” It’s a story we’ll likely tell for years to come. Life’s too precious to take it so seriously.
What valuable lessons have you learned from your mistakes?