I was going to tweet this picture, but then realized the story just won’t fit in 140 characters.
Back when the Short Kid was…he’d just turned one in November, I think, so it would have been April of 2002, we went to Orlando. Disney was fun, though we’re not really ride people, so Animal Kingdom was our favorite of the parks. Gatorland, though. We had a great time at Gatorland.
As with any tourist place, they had photo opps, and one of Gatorland’s was posing with a little alligator and a snake. When the Tall Kid, who was short at the time, said he wanted his picture taken with the alligator, my husband and I almost passed out from the shock. He’s not an adventurous child, to say the least. But…Daddy had to sit with him.
When they sat down, my husband gave the kid working the photo opp a very stern look and said very clearly, “No. Snake.”
Just before the kid ducked out of the picture so the other kid could hit the button, he dropped the snake around my husband’s neck.
I’ve gotta be honest. It was one of the best moments of my life.
In the split second he had to react, my husband realized if he freaked out, our son would never-ever-ever do something as adventurous and spontaneous as having his picture taken with a baby, mouth-taped alligator again. He really did a good job of keeping the hysterical screaming all on the inside.
So, to anybody else, it’s just a vacation photo like any other. But that little hand tentatively touching the alligator was an act of bravery on my little guy’s part that still makes me tear up, while I simultaneously laugh my ass off at my husband.
(Quiet, private words were had with photo opp kid after, though, because the consequences of what he did could actually have been very, very bad.)