It was Thanksgiving Sunday 3 years ago when we got a call from our neighbor: Our fish had died. Dora, Calista’s red female beta fish, and Henry, Elam’s blue beta, were belly up. Our neighbors had been faithfully feeding the fish while we had been away for the long weekend.
We told the kids as we drove down the hill into Duluth, preparing them for the scene. It was our fault, really. We had turned the heat down and apparently 55 degrees was too cold for the fish.
Calista was sad, but overall handled it with tears and little panic. She drew a large picture of Dora for her wall while Brian went out back to dig the hole. I can’t really remember what Elam was doing… he was so little.
Meanwhile, we had turned up the heat and we warming up, finally, when Brian came to scoop Dora out.
“She moved!” he said.
“What do you mean she moved?!” I said, not quite but almost dripping with sarcasm.
Calista came running back, tears still staining her eyes, now with a huge smile on her face. It was Thanksgiving but it felt like Easter.
Seriously, to watch their little fish bodies go from “death” to life was quite the illustration for our little kids.
Well, Monday night, there was no resurrection. Dora was obviously down and out for the count. Calista was seriously so upset it was stressful. She drew another picture. A friend of ours had lost their dog recently to cancer and only drawing a card for the friend was the only thing to pull her out of her grief. That and teaching XS how to draw letters with a peach snack.
Later that night we finished Prince Caspian. I cannot cut and paste the entire chapter, but at the end of the book, Aslan runs through Narnia, redeeming, rescuing and celebrating life. A man who was beating a child with a stick finds a flower in his hand instead. Teachers who were trapped teaching “pigs” are rescued out of windows. Those who believe get caught up in the parade and join the revelry, the feast. Those who don’t simply run away, or change into beasts.
Calista and I talked about how things don’t last forever…here. It was fantastic to have such an illustration for her sad little heart. We can look forward to a day when I believe God will redeem everything, even silly little beta fish.
Our XS is learning his ABC’s but also his Chinese with his big brother teaching him. Here are some videos and for those of you who know intonation, forgive my poor Chinese!
XS has been learning to enunciate better, take deep breaths when he is angry and use words instead of the pterodactyl screams. He also continues (with his brother) to eat everything I make times 3. Last night he ate more than Brian or I. Then 30 minutes later ate a banana, some peach and still would have eaten more if I had let him!
And he is taking swimming lessons. Although he didn’t speak much to his teacher, he obeyed and loved every minute of it. He can’t wait to go back.
We are also anticipating winter. Not a change I am looking forward to. XS doesn’t like jackets, hats and mittens. I think we will be able to change his mind on this one.
“It was Thanksgiving but it felt like Easter.”
That is a great line.