We woke up this morning to some very sad news. Our beloved hero, Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter, was killed yesterday when a sting ray punctured his heart while filming on location at the Great Barrier Reef. When our oldest son was five years old, he wanted to BE Steve Irwin. He had a little “girlfriend” in preschool whom he called Terri (even though her name was Emma) and insisted that she call him Steve.
Now at eight, he still loves to imitate Steve and scamper after the anolis lizards in our new yard, delighting in the thrill of the chase. When he catches a lizard he holds it gently, studies it, and then releases it back into its habitat, just as he’s seen Steve do on television countless times. I kid you not, this new activity has done more to help our son with the difficulties of moving than any one thing. To this day, he still aspires to visit Australia Zoo and to become a zookeeper (and marry Bindi, but that’s another story).
On a personal level, I’m thankful that I find myself far more accepting of reptiles, amphibians, sharks, and other (un-cuddly) creatures… Except spiders (they still freak me out!). I see them as far less threatening and more interesting than before Steve’s shows became so popular in our house.
When our son was five he dressed up as the Crocodile Hunter for Halloween. At that age he was blurring the distinction between reality and make believe. On that particular day, I believe he really thought he was Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter extraordinaire. Truly, that’s just fine by me. I would love for him to find his life’s passion and live with as much enthusiasm as only Steve Irwin knew how. The Crocodile Hunter touched our lives in surprising ways and will really be missed in our house.