April 26, 2008

Elementary School Carnival Melodrama

If I keep waiting to post until I have photos or multimedia, it may be months. So pardon me for posting again without any photos etc., at least I'm posting.

Friday night was the annual school carnival. It seems that most parents dread the carnival with all the little homemade carnival games, cheap little prizes, and hordes of grade schoolers running wild. Usually I don't look forward to it either, but for some reason I really liked it this year. I think maybe it was because while Veep manned the "magic postcard" booth, I got to run around with Sal and help him play some games. And he was so excited to play them all. He won a two liter bottle of soda on his first try at the ring toss, did a good job digging through a metric yard of cooked spaghetti to find a little yellow happyface superball, and waited so patiently in line for twenty minutes to get his face painted with two big bumblebees (one on each cheek). Fortunately he didn't win a gold fish at the ping pong ball toss, taking home two small plastic fishes as a consolation prize instead (despite getting to stand closer to the table with the fish bowls because he was smaller than the other kids).

Unfortunately, however, both Schmoopie and Boofis, unbeknownst to their parents, kept playing the ping pong game until they each won a gold fish. They spent the night at their friends house where they transferred their fish to small bowls, after treating the water with some "de-chlorination" drops. Schmoopie's fish, now named Kettle, was a little larger and made the transition just fine, constantly swimming into the wall of the bowl and exploring her new surroundings. Boofis' fish, named Dizzy, made the transition as well, but without as much vitality and, alas, died this evening.

Now anyone who knows Boofis very well, knows that she is definitely our sensitive child. Every time Veep heads home from a Utah visit, the drive is peppered with episodes of sobbing and crying hiccups. So, when I broke the news to her about Dizzy's passing, I was prepared for at least a half hour of crying. It was sad. Dizzy was a cute little gold fish. But then that was his problem, he was probably a little too small. I think it was good for Boofis to gain an understanding of death in nature, as cliche as the situation was. But also cruel because she is the one child who has really wanted a pet.

I'm kind of happy she is sensitive. I think I was a sensitive child (others may not, but I kind of think I was) and am kind of sad to see kids lose their sensitivity. I guess it is kind of a yearning for the kids to stay young. Life will be difficult, confusing, and complex soon enough. Let her cry for a little fish she only knew for a matter of hours and retain her innocence. Anyway, that was one of the highlights of my day, holding my eight year old daughter while she mourned for her goldfish. It was a good day.


  1. A touching story, C. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. You were a sensitive child! I know how sad losing a pet can be. When I was 15 years old I had a beautiful crocker spaniel puppy for about one week when someone left the gate open and "Feathers" ran into the street and was hit by a car. I cried for several days.....had a summer job and couldn't bear to go to work. My employer wasn't very understanding and told me that I shouldn't miss work over the death of my puppy. Didn't like my employer very much. Boofie is lucky to have an understanding father who also lost a dog,, remember?

  3. As a farm boy when I was young, I, and my sisters had to experience the death of farm animals many times. The hardest part was raising a prize winning 4H project steer only to have him sold to the slaughterhouse and butchered. We also lost 3 or 4 favorite dogs over the years, as well as young calves, milk cows, lambs, baby pigs, and on one occasion, a baby duck. We mourned them all.