On Steve Irwin's Death...

I've listened to and watched several parodies of Steve Irwin's death on the radio, Youtube, and TV (mostly in that order) and offer a slightly different perspective as the father of three 12-year-old boys...

Steve Irwin captured the hearts and minds of our little boys. I firmly believe that every child is born a conservationist. It's instinctive and we have to beat it out of them. As different as our triplet boys are, they have one thing very much in common - the love of wild animals. One wants to start a tarantula farm in Mexico to protect spiders. Another wants to be an ornithologist specializing in hawks. The third loves crocs and has a room full of stuffed crocodiles. That's were Steve Irwin comes in.

The boys grew up watching "Crocodile Hunter" videos. His personality captured them completely. They had his poster on their wall until it was replaced just recently with Andy Roddick. They subscribed to the Croc Hunter newsletter.

Last night, mom found a crumpled up version of the newsletter in one of our boy's beds. It had a picture of Steve on the front cover. Our hearts sank knowing that it had been part of a final tribute to Steve the day after he died. When mom comforted our son, he confided in us that he was very upset not only at Steve dieing, but others ridiculing him on the radio and on TV. It was the "in" thing to do at school as the parodies echoed through the 7th grade halls.

I went from room to room asking the other boys if they felt sad too. All admitted that they would miss the great crocodile hunter. And, right there and then, we had our own little clumsy tribute to a man half a world away. Someone with a very large spirit which leapt across continents and captured the hearts and minds of little boys and girls, and, as a parent of three sons, us as well. A spirit that I'm sure still burns bright.

This family of boys will miss you Steve.


At September 08, 2006, Blogger Lisa said...

Marty, It's great to read/ understand your perspective. I look forward to more. Croc Hunter was definitely a "hero" to many boys (and girls). If the bird feeders in the yard (we have 5) are close to empty - it is serious business to fill them. I have 2 children who are going to be vetinarians when they grow up.

Lisa Henderson

At September 08, 2006, Blogger Triplet Dads said...

Lisa - thanks for your comment. We have an owl habitat hanging from a tree but no bird feeders.


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