It was a grand day full of family and friends, birthday cake, and a safari bug expedition. Here are some snapshots of our happy day for our little man.
Come again? When he told us, we set there for a minute a little baffled. A fish? Where did this come from? No one we knew had an aquarium, and Finding Nemo hadn't been viewed in this house for months. Then a distant memory clicked. A few weeks before we were on our way to a Best Buy in search of a DVD for the husband and a Skylander for Ben. When we arrived the store didn't open for 10 more minutes. To kill time we popped into the Pet Smart store next door. We visited with the kitties, gawked at the snakes and spiders, and chuckled at the sleeping hamsters stuck in their wheels. Our Ben was mesmerized by the tanks of beautiful fish. He took his time looking in each tank, watching the little fish zoom back and forth. Ah-ha.
I've had fish before, and I wasn't too thrilled at the idea of starting over again. Their tanks get gross, and let's be real..... no one else is going to clean that thing except Momma. My first fish was a purple-pink Beta named Annabelle. She lived with me and my rommie in our college dorm room. Then she made the move to our first home after Bart and I were married. She lived 6 long years, and I thought she was dead 4 times. Each time we would net her up to make the walk to the porcelain throne, only for her to miraculously come back to life. The 5th time Bart took care of her. He told me he was sure. I think I believe him.
Where Annabelle lived for what seemed like forever, I know this isn't always the case. My second year of teaching I thought it would be a great idea to get a class pet. "Fish would be great!" I thought to myself. Easy maintenance, not too distracting (relaxing, in fact!), and the kids loved the idea. We started up the tank, added a few fish, and everyone was sooooo excited.
I had to be gone the next day for a Dr. appointment (I was pregnant with Drew at the time.) When I returned to my classroom, I read through my sub's note that she had left for me. I don't remember word for word what she wrote, but it went something like this, "Your class was great today. One small crisis.... After morning announcements one of the students realized that all the fish were dead. A few kids cried."
Bless that sweet woman's heart. She had handled talking about death with a bunch of traumatized 8 year olds, disposed of our fish in a respectful manner, and kept her cool...... all while managing to still throw some 2nd grade teaching in there. Props to her.
After that, I swore I was done with fish. Never again! We sold the aquarium at our yard sale and didn't look back. Little did I know Pet Smart could sweep in and undermine me so easily. We've had the talk with Ben using Annabelle and my classroom fish as examples. He knows that they may live a few days or a few years and not to get too attached to them. I think we are ready.
So, yes, one of Ben's presents from us this weekend was an aquarium. It is set up with new gravel and a pineapple under the sea. Tomorrow we will make the trip to Pet Smart to pick out its new tenants. My fingers are crossed for Annabelles this time around.......