Thursday, May 7, 2015

Rosie the Goldfish!

Evie was so excited last week to get her first pet - a goldfish! Her class had four fish as part of a science unit and the teacher was sending them home. Evie told me that if she was carpool then her teacher would let her have one of the fish.

Of course, I picked her up at carpool and she was beaming from ear to ear carefully juggling her little fish in a plastic cup with a lid securely fastened on top while walking to meet me in the line. 

Evie had already named the fish - Rosie before she had even laid eyes on the fish. We welcomed Rosie into our home and loved her immediately. Courtney gave Evie some water treatment chemicals and a big fish bowl. Evie's friend, Molly, got a fish from school too. Her mom, Elizabeth, and I texted back and forth about how to care for our new pets. Their fish did not even make it 6 hours! Lettuce works until you can get some fish food - it worked for Rosie not for Rosie's friend.

I reminded Evie that everything that lives will die eventually. Evie was thrilled to have her very own pet and carefully picked a spot for Rosie in her bedroom.  Rosie was fed and water was changed without fail for a week. She fit right into the family. As far as pets go, fish are simple! They are quiet, contained and neat - not a bad pet with the exception of their life expectancy. 

All was well until yesterday when Henry came to tell me that Rosie was not in her bowl. I immediately felt a sense of panic for Evie. Henry is a really sweet child and I did not think he would do anything to Rosie. He does not even like animals so I cannot imagine him putting his hand into a bowl of a water on a dresser that is taller than him. However, it was hard to really think - I looked around a bit and noticed there was no water anywhere on top of the dresser and Henry's hands were dry. Evie's dresser drawer was open and I found Rosie on top of a pink shirt. I asked Henry how Rosie got in there and he kept saying he did not know. Rosie was still moving so flicked her into the bowl. She took a few gulps of water and happily swam away. I was relieved for Evie that Rosie was not going to be dead when she got home from school. 

I sent Henry to his room to think about how Rosie got in the drawer. He fell asleep!

I mentioned this whole scenario to my friend Wendy - Henry's friend Anderson's mom and she was sure that Rosie jumped into the drawer which makes sense with all the evidence. Apparently, this goldfish jumping phenomena is a real thing. 

Evie arrived home about this time from school and I told her what had happened. She was convinced Henry might have been involved but she was so happy Rosie was okay. I kept telling Henry that he saved the day! It would have been awful for Evie to have found a dead fish in her drawer!

I am still not exactly sure what happened but it was an adventurous afternoon for sure. We enjoyed a nice afternoon outside and ate dinner and then went back outside to play with the boys. After showers and books, Evie went over to feed Rosie and she was floating on the top of the water. Evie tried flicking the bowl, turning her lamp off and feeding the fish. It was all too late! Rosie had left the building. 

Evie was beyond hysterical for about 30 minutes. She kept telling me that Rosie was such a nice fish and she had so much fun with her. Henry was completely overwhelmed by seeing Evie so upset. He kept petting her and telling her it was okay that we could get another fish. Both kids were asking lots of questions about dying and souls and heaven. Mama needs to brush up on her own knowledge. I told them Rosie was in Heaven and that everything that made her Rosie was with her but that her body was here with us.  Evie finally calmed down and decided we could have a funeral for Rosie after school the next day. 

She did not want to flush her down the toliet because "then I cannot visit with her anymore." So, we decided to bury her in the backyard. Evie is already concerned about what will happen if we move. Not that we have any plans to move but Evie is a thinker like her Mama. Evie went to sleep and barely seemed concerned this morning when she told Carl what had happened. 

Evie got home this afternoon and we had a little service for Rosie in our backyard. 

We dug a hole together and made Rosie a little sign. Evie likes prayers out of the Book of Common Prayer.  It went like this: "O God of Grace and Glory, we remember before you this day - our sister Rosie. We thank you for giving Rosie to us - to know and to love as a companion in our earthly life. Console our tears and keep us until one day by your call we are reunited with Rosie and all those who have gone before us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

Evie was very stoic and the service gave her tender little heart some closure. Henry enjoyed digging the hole. I was just happy that there were no more tears. Carl was at work during this but he was with us in spirit. He thought we should get a new fish. I think Evie will move on to something else by the end of the week. 

That's the story of our first pet, Rosie! We will remember you our little orange friend. Hope you are swimming in Heaven with all of your fish friends. 


  1. Sweet story, from start to finish! The girls have been asking for a pet for a while and Jessica has even asked for a fish. I think her reaction to her fish's passing would be similar to Evie's!

  2. I am so sorry for Evie's loss. When our Yorkie died at opened the floodgates for questions that I'm not sure I answer well. I had to chuckle at the burial pictures because I could easily swap in my two. Henry looked so official as the hole digger.


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