Monday, April 13, 2009

Turtle Talk

Ever since Samantha died, I've been living in dread of how I would respond when someone asked me how many children I have. I don't know how to respond to that question, and I know many of you struggle with this one as well. To say “three” is to betray Samantha and her very existence. To say “four” opens up a whole line of uncomfortable conversation I don't always want to get into. Of course, it depends who's asking the question. And it's complicated by the fact that I wear a necklace with four small baby shoes with the birthstones of each of my children. I never take it off. It's pretty obvious that it signifies that I have four children. Back when I had four living children, it was a fun conversation piece. I didn't even get it until I had Samantha. I would always say, “Damnit, if you're going to have four kids, you may as well show it off with a necklace!” Now, I admit to hiding it under my shirt at times if I just don't want to go there or I sense that someone might ask about it.

Anyway, incredibly enough, no one has asked me that question - how many kids do I have - in the last 3 months. I've waited. I've dodged dicey conversation topics. I've covered my necklace. But it's never directly come up until, last week that is. We took the kids to a much needed vacation to Los Angeles (actually, Monrovia, a small town to the north and west of LA) to visit family, hit Disneyland and enjoy the glorious California sunshine. It was a good time. One of the attractions at the park was called “Turtle Talk”, which basically involved a computer animated Crush (from Finding Nemo) talking on a giant screen and interacting with the audience. So can you guess who the very first kid he pulled out of the audience was? It was my oldest daughter, who was sitting in the front row. He peppered her with a series of questions about where she is from and if we do much surfing in Virginia. She's not one for the spotlight, so she basically turned around and looked to me (sitting right behind her) for the appropriate answers to all these questions. Eventually, Crush the turtle decided to question me directly, seeing that I was answering his questions anyway. He gets my name, and then his very next question, I kid you not, is “So, Alyssa, how many kids do you have?” Let's see, I've been dreading this question for almost three months, and the moment it finally gets asked, I've got a microphone in my face and an expectant audience awaiting my response. I had to laugh at the absurdity of it all. I answered “three” opting to avoid telling the whole sordid story to my fellow Disneyland vacationers. His response (remember, this is in the character of Crush, the prolific sea turtle) was “Dude, you're just getting started! You should try 65!” Ha ha ha.

So there it is. In a way, it's a relief. I've been dreading the big question, and it finally came in front of my new 200 best friends at Turtle Talk.


  1. Hi Alyssa,

    I nominated your blog for a Sisterhood Award. You can see the post on my blog at:

    I am so glad that you are finding an outlet in blogging. I appreciate you sharing Samantha's story.

    The rules of the award are:

    Put the logo on your blog or post.
    Nominate at least 10 blogs with great attitude and/or gratitude.
    Be sure to link to your nominees in your post.
    Let your nominees know they have received the award by leaving them a comment on their blog.
    Be sure to link this post to the person who nominated you for the award.

    Much care,

  2. Reading this, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, so I ended up doing a bit of each. I don't know what things have come to that we babylost folks have to be afraid of animated talking turtles in addition to everything else.

  3. Holy Schmoly!!!! I can't even imagine. What a story.