The Love Story of Bruce and Dolphene

This could get a little gratuitous… But I want to tell you a love story. Not just any love story, and not even necessarily my favorite love story (which would easily be the one Natalie and I are living out everyday), but a love story of such grand proportions that it has changed pure fantasy into tangible reality: seen, felt, and shared by more than just the lovers.

It all started 7 years ago…

Izabella and I first travelled to Alabama to visit my parents in 2003. She was 2 1/2 and had just seen Finding Nemo (which I now think of as way too scary for such a tender age…), and just happened to find this toothy whale in amongst my parents kid toys, and named him Bruce after one of the sharks in the movie. Bruce and Bella became fast friends, and she played with him everyday during that visit. When we left, Bella was sad to leave Bruce behind, but was reassured by the fact that he would be at Nana and Grandpa’s house awaiting her return. And to their credit, Nana and Grandpa did well to keep Bruce properly fed and cared for during the time when Bella was not around.

Flash forward to 3 years later…

Bella and Bruce had gotten to see each other again between their original meeting and this, but their time together was much the same on those occasions as it had been during their first week together. That is, they were inseparable.

Then, while on this trip, Bruce met Bella’s little sister Xi. The three of them spent a good bit of time together, and all got to experience being in the emerald paradise of the Gulf for a few days. Bruce loved the sisters, but felt a little torn as to how to divide his time evenly between them. And frankly, he was a little lonely when they left.

So, two years later when we returned once more to visit Bruce (and the grandparents), and we had a new little sister with us, we all decided Bruce — though plenty big enough — was just not enough whale to go around. Not to mention that he needed some camaraderie that was more, well, of his own variety…

There was a lot of discussion when we decided to go out and find two new aqua-friends for the girls. We wanted to find something that Xi in particular would think was as cool as Bruce, but not so cool that Bella would think it was better than Bruce. We knew they would share, and that we would uphold the idea that all of the aqua-friends were for everyone to play with, but we didn’t want any of the girls to feel like they were having to play with either the new less-cool thing, or the old worn-out thing… And I must say it worked like a charm. Dauphine (later renamed Dolphene) and Ahg (now also called Sharky) joined our family of friends.

The thing we did not foresee? Dolphene and Bruce fell in love! And even though it defied the apparent logic of chronology, Ahg became the lovers’ child. Our family adopted both the new members of the local marine life, as well as the story of their lives as related by the girls. And that was that, so to speak.

When we left that summer (2008), Bruce and Dolphene we cozied up together, and remained that way until we returned the next year…

Then the girls decided we should have a wedding. Now by this point, we had been “playing along” with the girls’ relationship with these toys for more than half of Bella’s life, and all of Xi and Echo’s. And each summer that we came to Alabama to visit, the kids would spend a portion (sometimes every waking moment) of every single day playing out the story of Bruce’s, and later Dolphene and Ahg’s lives with our full support. So when they announced that Bruce and Dolphene were going to get married, well, we were all for it. And incrementally we ended up creating more to-do than any toys’ wedding ever had…

Bruce is waiting for Dolphene (who is with Xi in the background) to make some decisions about the wedding arrangements. Xi and Bella discussed what was best for the occasion, and then asked Natalie to make the wedding cake.

And Bella and Xi made all the decorations for the ceremony, and the wedding gifts for the bride a groom to open. Of course you can’t see any of them here, but that’s what they’re doing behind the giant, lovely cake….

Then Bella and Xi invited some of the relatives who were staying at a nearby beach house, and we had us a wedding in the pool…

I officiated the ceremony, and Bella and Xi helped the groom and bride, respectively, to fulfill their roles…

And after the lovely couple was pronounced legally wed, they wasted no time opening the gifts. You may notice one of the drawings Xideka did for decoration in the back ground. That’s my uncle, and my parents dog among the wedding party…

The morning after this, Bella and Xi woke up at first light to take Bruce and Dolphene out to see the sunrise as a symbolic beginning to their honeymoon. We had to draw a proverbial line here, and had our gils get back in bed, but made sure Bruce and Dolphene got to stay out on a picnic table on the deck for some nuptial alone time.

And this year, Bruce, Dolphene, and Ahg were reunited with Bella, Xideka, and Echo once more. After some discussion about the possibility of redoing the wedding (because Bella in particular wished she had been more serious about it the first time), the girls decided they would instead celebrate their friends first wedding anniversary. So one night when we went to dinner all together, the girls brought Bruce and Dolphene along with a fully illustrated spread for the couple’s celebratory dinner.

What you can’t fully see is that the reverse side of each of these pages is also covered. The one on the left has another version of the cake and desserts, and the one on the right has another version of the spread the couple shared — those guys can eat a lot. And if all of that wasn’t enough, the server caught wind of the celebration and arranged for the girls’ shared dessert plate to have written in chocolate across the top “Happy Anniversary!” Sorry, I don’t have a picture of that…

Now, I warned you this post might be a bit gratuitous, but I wanted you to see all of this. It is a wonderful testament to the imagination of these delightful girls. But more importantly, it is also a reflection of the love, honour, and respect our family has for them. My parents not only made sure Bruce was ready each year, they also got him some comrades, and also supported the wedding, and stood by with full support while the girls invited other grown-up relatives to the wedding, and didn’t raise more than an eyebrow when the girls carted the toys everywhere (including to the fanciest restaurant to which the girls have ever gone). And Natalie actually made a three-tiered wedding cake. And I officiated a wedding for toys. And more. Just because we love these girls. And just because we want them to feel like what they want matters to us, and what they dream and imagine is important to us. And just because we want them to know how much they mean to us.

It’s a love story all right, not just between two plastic aquatic mammals, but between a whole family of tender humans.

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About Nathan M McTague, CPCC, CPDPE

I am a full-time parent of three, Writer, Life Coach, Lecturer, Parenting Mentor, and Shamanic Practitioner. In all of the above, I am seeking to assist my fellow humans in their processes of claiming and unleashing their highest potentials.
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3 Responses to The Love Story of Bruce and Dolphene

  1. Bella says:

    i loved how you shared a love that is shared by the whole family ! it left me speechless!

  2. Pingback: amen « Talk Feeleez

  3. Pingback: Summer Was | "A Beautiful Place of the World"

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