Friday, July 20, 2007

A Fishy Tale

The Night of Emily's Third Birthday

Two years ago, Emily began a love affair with Nemo. Yes, this little fish managed to capture her heart, and we had what we sentimentally refer to as "The Nemo Year". She was Nemo for Halloween. She read Nemo books, played with Nemo toys and even had a Nemo sprinkler. She had a Nemo birthday party, where she received her very first goldfish, which she adored.

(Picture this...the children are doing a craft at the rear of the home just before dinner - I have decorated the table with all things fishy, including her new fishbowl and beautiful big goldfish, Nemo. My mother and aunt are admiring the table when they notice Nemo does not look right. They grab my brother, a fish afficienado and he confirms their worst fear, Nemo is swimming with The Big Fish Himself. Knowing there are about twenty crucial moments until dinner, they run to the nearest pet store and grab a smaller, but just as golden fish, bring him home, and have my brother plop him in the bowl...and a Happy Birthday it is!)

Of course, once the candles have been blown out and the days begin to pass, Emily is concerned that Nemo will grow lonely. Let's face it, Dr. Shermann had quite a variety of fish in that tank. Oh yes, and she begins to negotiate for a tank, no more fishbowl for this little one. She was spouting out "42 Wallaby Way, Sydney" long before she ever uttered our address. Thus, the tank comes home with yet, another goldfish, she named Dory.

Now, we have gone through several Nemos (goldfish are not the most resilient pets), but Dory is still swimming strong in her pink tank in the playroom. We even added an Asian piece to the tank in Hannah's honor.

Fast forward two years, Hannah is home. We still have our original tank in the basement (the black one which was replaced by the girly pink one). Emily has the grand idea that Hannah NEEDS a fish, too. We concede. Emily chooses a beautiful black and white angel fish whom she appropriately names, Gill. I must admit, I love angel fish and I was even thrilled with Gill.

Emily handles the entire process (with Daddy's guidance, of course), but she is faithful about feeding her pets and caring for them. She loves to help clean the tank and every morning she greets her two fish with a big smile and some lovin'. Here's where the story gets a bit ugly...

Leaving for our weekly evening at the library, Em tells Daddy that Gill's light is off, she can't find him and could he turn it back on (yes, literally the light). When Daddy goes to check the tank, uh, we share the sad news. And she wails; and Daddy is shocked when I begin to wail also, but her sobs were from deep within her little soul and there is nothing more painful than the agony of one's child. At age five, time has no space or continuum, so this fish, who has only been with us one week is mourned, deeply so. Upon gathering herself, she tells me quietly, "We had some good times with our Gill, I will choose to remember those." She is brave and hopeful - I just love that about you, Emily.

She has asked to get another fish (for Hannah, of course) - she says she will name this one Bubbles. Bubbles, it is....


Kimber said...

Aww. Sorry about Gill. Hope the grils enjoy Bubbles!


Jewels of My Heart said...

Oh, the life of a fish... Hope Bubbles has a long, happy and healthy life.
The first picture is just priceless.


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