gift and learning

Our New Pet

Meet our new pet, a blue whale named Per.


Did I have you going there for a second?

Okay. It’s not a real pet, but my kids don’t know that.

I don’t think. Well, my 9-year-old kind of knows, but she likes to believe, so I’m not going to ruin the fun.

A few months ago, in a riveting blog post, I told you about an amazing TED talk I listened to by author Mac Barnett and the children’s book I bought as a result, Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem.

I think I mentioned in that previous post there’s a fun surprise under the jacket cover of that book.

My kids wrote a letter and sent it off to receive their very own pet whale before we moved to Ireland.

I promptly forgot all about the pet whale because HELLO? moving to a foreign country. They didn’t forget. They were worried about how the whale was going to find us because we didn’t tell the whale our new address. We didn’t even have a permanent address at that point. Details.

It’s moments like these that I realize the depth of my children’s resiliency.

We’d just moved to a foreign country. Everything was new. They’d left their friends and family behind. We didn’t have our belongings or even a place to call home. It’s a lot for anyone, no matter your age, to process.

None of that seemed to phase them. Instead, they were concerned about the whale. Not about how we’d feed a whale or where we’d keep a whale, but how the whale would find us.

I guess I’d never explained mail forwarding.

We had a package of mail forwarded from the U.S. to our temporary home in Ireland. As is my luck, the package was too big to shove through the mail slot in our door and we weren’t home.

Instead, we had to walk/scooter a mile to the mail holding facility. Along the way to find our mail, my son decided to jump fall into a duck pond.

Really, it was only a matter of time. We’d walked past that pond twice a day for weeks. Don’t worry. He was fine. We had to walk back to the house so he could shower the algae and duck poo off of himself though.

Finally we arrived at the mail facility and that’s when we discovered a very official letter had arrived addressed to the kids.

(By the way, it’s just “post” here, not post office. People also say they are going to open the post instead of open the mail.)

The letter informed them their pet whale is stuck in Norway in a very lovely fjord.


There was a “change” in customs law and Norway won’t let the whale leave. Oh, darn. My kids know all about customs and immigration due to our recent move. While they were disappointed, they rolled with the bad news like the troopers they are.

Bureaucratic red tape. What are you going to do?

I was happy there was one way to smooth things over.

The kids can call their whale and leave him a message. YAY!

Except my kids want to FaceTime instead.

Of course.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post, you might like one of these too!

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