Friday, April 8, 2011

R.I.P. Sparks

Another one bites the dust. I don’t mean to sound callous, but we just can’t seem to keep fish alive at our house—even the “sturdy” ones who don’t easily die seem to kick the bucket sooner than they should when they enter the Royal house.

Caroline’s best friend gave her a beta fish, complete with the tank and accessories for her birthday. I didn’t really want to go down the road of fish again. We still have 2 dogs, a frog, 2 crazy monkey girls, Brian and me—all living in our 1200 sq ft house (actually, I’m exaggerating—the dogs live outside now, but you get the idea). I explained to Caroline’s friend’s mom (whose my friend, too) that our toilet pipes have been declared a fish graveyard because of the number who have traveled them on their way to fish heaven. She assured me that Beta fish were easy and had a bit of personality. And I knew that Caroline would love the present and would think of her friend Alivia every time she looked at it.

So I caved.

Tomorrow would have been 6 weeks since Sparks entered our house. He went through the fish graveyard last night. After the drama-filled day we had (and not just because of Caroline’s school program), I was worried about telling her, but knew I had to pretty quickly because he was stariting to stink up her room.

She did fine. But she said she wasn’t getting another pet again. Now, I’m not sure a fish qualifies as a pet, but I felt that we couldn’t just leave it at that. As much as I really don’t want another living creature in our house, Brian and I told her we would go pick out another on Monday, when he could go with us.

See, as much as I don’t want to deal with another fish funeral, I realize that Caroline needs to get back up on the horse, so to speak. She needs to learn that loving something isn’t always roses. And part of me feels like a mean mom in doing that.

But, I know, in my heart, that it’s the right thing. I don’t want her to grow up, afraid to love something or someone. I know I’m taking this to the extreme, but I’d rather her face these kinds of disappointments while I am next to her, shepherding her through them. That doesn’t mean I’m going to create hard situations. Life seems to present enough of them on its own.

So, good-bye Sparks. Give Goldie, Sweeper and the others whose names I can’t remember a little wave of your fin as you pass them. And make room...I’m sure there will be others joining you soon enough (I’ve been told the next one will be a rainbow fish--so look for a flash of color).


Barb said...

Sweet Caroline. Those are hard milestones of childhood. I'm not looking forward to them as we embark on owning the first pet Noah will really remember and attach to and Matthew's first period.

April said...

Say hi to "Golfie" also, that was our latest goldfish to get flushed.
Love the post! Absolutely yes to shepherding them through the disappointments now, rather than trying to protect them from them and being shocked that life is tough when they're on their own!