Friday, August 21, 2015

The {Everlasting} Goldfish

When Kaitlin was in first grade, she had a wonderful and special Sunday School teacher--Miss Marlene. And one Sunday, not too long after the start of that first grade year, Miss Marlene brought a goldfish to class. He was part of the Sunday School lesson.

I'll be honest-I have no idea what the lesson was about, and whether the goldfish played a major or minor role in the storyline. What I do know is that when Miss Marlene asked the kids if anyone had a fish tank and wanted to take the goldfish home, my little girl raised her hand and said, "I do!".

I met that goldfish in the church sanctuary. Kaitlin, with her long brown curly hair and toothless smile grinned so proudly. And I remember thinking, "I hope he doesn't die during the church service! If he does, will it be bad to flush him here before heading home?" I also prayed that the bag wouldn't get dropped and roll down the aisle during the service. Could you imagine?? Thankfully, we were not a part of any 'fish incidents' that entire hour.

Against all odds, that fish made it home. And Kaitlin had told the truth--she had her very own 10 gallon tank, full of bright-colored fish with plenty of room to spare. What Kaitlin didn't realize was that her fish were tropical fish, and a goldfish cannot go into a tropical tank.

So her younger sister Kylie became the proud owner of a goldfish.

Fall 2007-the year of the new goldfish

That poor fish survived the following things that Sunday:
  • Carted around in a plastic bag from 8:00am until 1:00pm
  • Continued to sit in the plastic bag while I ran to Kmart to buy a second fish tank.
  • Sat even longer in the plastic bag while the new tank was prepped.
  • Arrived inside his fish tank around 3:00pm

The 19 cent, orange Walmart goldfish now had a $20 tank. I remember Mike giving me a couple "this is just crazy" looks, but the kids were so excited with the process of adding a tank to Kylie's room that Mike didn't verbalize his true thoughts.


Last week, the little first grader who brought a goldfish home from Sunday School entered her freshman year of high school. The three year old who received the fish from her older sister turned eleven last Saturday and is in sixth grade.

Summer 2015-vacation without the goldfish


That fish has been around longer than some kids have a dog!! I can picture it now, when Kylie is an adult: "Did you have any pets growing up?" "Why, yes, I had a goldfish!"

That fish has lived in four different fish tanks, and is now six inches long- he outgrew the three gallon tank, then outgrew a five gallon tank, and is now living in his second ten gallon tank. One day, the first ten gallon tank decided to start leaking, which meant pulling up the brand new carpet, drying the carpet, the pad, and the subfloor. Mike's "this is just crazy"  looks turned into VERY heavy sighs. And did lead to him verbalizing a few thoughts about "that fish"!

The fish has gone through various names, and also several goldfish companions. After the fourth or fifth death of other goldfish we bought had occurred, we decided he would remain alone. Half the time I wonder when he last ate. We've gone on vacations where I forgot about him completely, and I guarantee the filter right now is absolutely needing to be replaced. Instead of wondering if I can flush him at church, I now wonder what you do with a goldfish who is too big to flush down the toilet! But at this rate, we won't know for a very, very long time.

Anyone want a 19 cent goldfish?

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