Thursday, October 4, 2007

Killing Fish

Not purposely of course, but that's what happened. Karma I suppose.

So two weeks ago, I thought I would be a good dad and teach my kids a valuable lesson about responsibility and have some fun doing it. We headed to the pet store on a Saturday and came back home with two male beta fish. They each had their own bowl (the fish, not my daughters).

The girls were quite excited and we talked about the rules for the fish.

1.Feed them three pellets of food every morning and every night.
2. Don't move the bowls.
3. Don't do anything with the fish unless mom or dad were there.

Caroline named her fish, "Toto" and Bella named her fish "Dorothy." Bella said she knew it was a boy fish, but said, "I am going to pretend its a boy."

For two weeks the kids were great with their new pets. They asked permission to feed the fish, even asked permission to look at them in their bowls sitting on the kitchen counter.

Then the phone call came last night. I was finishing up at work when Daina said, Caroline's F-I-S-H is D-E-A-D.


Caroline had yet to notice. Was my four year old too young to deal with this? Would Bella tease her that her fish had lived and Toto was now dead? So I stopped by the pet store, picked up another male beta fish and made a quick exchange when I got home.

"Look Caroline," I said, "Your fish is getting really colorful, you are doing a great job taking care of Toto." All was well in the world. It was a small white lie.

I woke this morning to Isabella's sad face. "Dad, my fish died." I watched as she tried to grasp what had happened. Bella asked if Dorothy was in heaven, if the angels were going to come down to get her? I told her yes and we said a prayer. I'm so glad she has such strength to ask hard questions, and that she knows the important questions to ask.

Guessing I will be picking up another male beta tonight on my way home.