This week(end) Spencer had Backyard Bible School. In my day, we received stickers, Smarties, Dum-Dums, and candy bars (if we said the Theme Memory Verse), for doing things like bringing our Bible, bringing a friend, saying our memory verse, or doing certain art projects. I can't begin to explain the excitement for me as a 5 year old at the prospect of getting a king sized Hersey's chocolate bar. In some ways, not much changed- little toys, pieces of candy, and art projects, etc. And then came the Carassius auratus auratus, aka the Goldfish.
The kids were learning about Jonah and the Whale when I saw a friend of mine, and fellow parent, walk through the door holding a large bag of water. As she got closer, I thought there were little plastic fish in it. And then I it all became clear what was inside: real, live, swimming fish. Slowly, realization poured over me- Spencer was going to bring home a goldfish.
It was actually kinda funny, because all of us parents pretty much had the same reaction. We were going to bring home this fish, buy it supplies, while our kids fell in love with it, and then in 48 hours it would most likely make it's way to Goldfish Heaven. My first inclination was just to keep Spencer away from them and she would never know the difference if we didn't bring one home with us. And then I thought about how excited I would have been about bringing home a REAL LIVE FISH from Bible School: it made a king size Hershey bar seem like a Tootsie Roll. So as much I was not looking forward to being responsible for "killing" a fish, I didn't want Spencer to miss out on it. And so, the goldfish, who was black, came home with us in a little water filled baggie.
I would love to tell you that after spending $18 at the pet store on a bowl, special de-chlorination and de-chloramination water drops, flaky fish food and pink and gold rocks for the bottom, that we are still the proud owners of a fish. I would love to tell you that even though Spencer pointed and said "Mama, look at that man!" in regards to the very large, fully clothed in leather, bandanna wearing, tattooed all over motorcycle man in the fish food aisle, that we are still the proud owners of a fish. I would love to tell you that even after the aforementioned comment and the motorcycle guy came up to us and recommended the best water drops and fish food, that we are still the proud owners of a fish. I would love to tell you that I didn't spend two hours setting up his/her future humble abode, making sure he/she had acclimated to the water before releasing it from the baggie, and watching as he/she ate the food- just to make sure it had eaten, that we are still the proud owner of a fish. And I would really love to tell that after making sure he/she had made it through the night before leaving for church that I didn't come home from church two hours later and find said fish floating on top of the water: the poor thing didn't even make it 24 hours.
Here lies the problem- do I use this as a "life lesson" on death or do I replace the fish without Spencer knowing? I've managed to keep her away from the fish bowl all day, but eventually she's going to see it. I don't really have a problem with getting another fish and having her be none the wiser- I just don't want to keep buying fish only to have them die one day later. Any recommendations about low maintenance, cheap-ish fish that have a longer life expectancy? Would a goldfish be happier if he had a friend swimming with him? Did I do something wrong that inadvertently killed this one?
Even though this was a bit of a fish debacle, Spencer had a really great time at Bible School and she hasn't stopped talking about it or the fish. I also really love that my Sunday School teacher told the Backyard Bible stories and will now be her Sunday School teacher (yesterday was promotion Sunday and Spencer moved up an age group). It does make me feel super old, though, haha!
Okay, so fish ideas, please!
Sammy the Slugger
3 hours ago