Our Favorite Places- Seattle Aquarium
I’m hoping to start a series on some of our favorite places to visit with Pacific.
We have been blessed by the Seattle Aquarium. We began visiting there in early 2014. We’d gotten a membership the year before, just before Pacific was diagnosed, and in the hectic times that followed, never actually used it. With a month remaining on our membership, we finally ventured there, and found that it was almost entirely UV safe! The main building is completely safe with blinds closed, save for a single set of doors that is easy to avoid, and the other building was completely accessible with his shielded stroller, with several areas that were UV safe.
Pacific LOVES the water! He was born into the water and has been fascinated by it ever since. He also loves fish! It was one of his first baby signs, and one of his first words as well. When we go to the aquarium, we spend lots of time in the touch tanks, as well as wandering around the big underwater dome.
Pax can check out lots of different sensations- from the sticky or spiky anemones to the rough sand textured areas in the Hawaii area to the smooth glass mosaic tiles on the walls. Plus rubbery octopus tentacles!
What has made the Seattle Aquarium so special for us though has been the way they have welcomed Pacific with his special needs. One of their security guards, Angel, got to know us first. With a mild photosensitivity of her own, she took us seriously when we asked for the shades to be closed. From then on, every time she saw us come in, she would take the initiative to close them preemptively.
Then last spring, we happened to wander in on a day when they were having Toddler Playtime! There we met Jean, who runs that educational program among others at the aquarium. Despite her busy day, she took the time to listen to our story, and helped make the room safe for Pacific. When it started up again this fall, she remembered us! She checked and rechecked the windows, making sure that sunlight couldn’t slip in. She explained Pacific’s condition to the other staff as well. Yesterday, when we were coming down the hall, she went running for the blinds, getting the room ready for us before we even got there. Sean, another staff member who had only met Pacific once, remembered him by name when we were in the main part of the aquarium later that morning.
Pacific loves Toddler Playtime- they have sensory tubs set up with “ish” (fish) and other aquatic creatures, play dough, painting, pretend play, and other activities.
I’ve since gotten an aquarium for Pacific to encourage his love of fish at home as well, and it is the first thing he goes to when he gets into the house each day. I’m grateful for the part that the Seattle Aquarium is playing in helping Pacific to discover his world.