I am first on the list to receive hand-me-downs from a nice woman in my former ward. I have sheets and toys and books and a stack of writing and spelling papers that should keep my kids more than busy this summer. She was the reason my kids had lots of presents to open at Christmas.
Recently, she called saying she had an aquarium that they needed to get rid of. Would I want it? My impulse was to say no. My husband's impulse was to say no. But I didn't say no. I stalled, saying we would call her back. I forgot (hubby out of town and migraines will do that to me), but she kindly followed up. I decided I'd go see it.
I made the mistake (?) of taking my kids with me. Need I say more?
Seriously, though, I think part of the reason I stalled is because I really was tempted. You see, we will never have a dog or a cat. N-e-v-e-r. (OK, not never. I told them they could have a dog when they had their own house!) But you know, my kids are kids and a pet is something kids like, and I know that and have always felt a little bit of mommy guilt about it.
So in a way, I kind of wanted to do this for them. My husband finally capitulated when I told him he could name the 7-inch goldfish that came with the aquarium. His choice? Carpy Diem.
And so we are carpy dieming it. (And, hey, it was free -- paraphrenalia and all!) We now have a bubbling aquarium in our family room. It actually looks pretty cool, and I love the soothing sounds it produces. We also have an algae-sucking something-or-another with a long name I can't remember. My kids call it cheetah (hubby calls it Leppy -- for Leopard, you know, to go with Carpy.)
I tried to ignore my husband's hesitant stares as we set it up (and try not to think about how much I don't want to have to clean it), because my kids were bouncing-off-the-walls happy. The littlest drew a picture of the water and the fish. She said the prayer at dinner and thanked Heavenly Father that we have a fish, "even though Mom said we could never have a pet." She went to sit by the aquarium after dinner.
As I tucked the little one in, I asked her her favorite part of the day (our nightly ritual). She said "Getting the fish." Ah, redemption?
"Except it's kind of boring becauase we can't hold it."
Oh, well. I tried.
(Anyone want an aquarium? Just kidding....)