I am not sure if we are the right family for fish.
(Our fish tales are long and sordid. Be prepared.)
The first fish we got was in July of 2007. The kids and I were staying in Atlanta at Momma's during Lucas's Stem Cell Transplant. So we did not get to see David very often. He was visiting with us once, and we were at Petsmart. The kids saw a SpongeBob tank that was on clearance. I took it as a sign, and let David be the hero and say "Y'all want a fish?" Of course, they did. They picked out a male Betta (to them it was a girl) named Carly.
Carly was a good fish. I knew that Betta could live a long time (well, in fish terms, you know longer than a goldfish, which is like 10 minutes), so I was pleased. And she (he) really was fun to watch. The kids only paid her (him) mild attention most of the time, but all was well.
We were planning Miss (Mr.) Carly's big 1 year in our family celebration in July of 2008, when tragedy struck. Sweet Spencer placed a bathroom cleaning sponge in Carly's tank. We did not realize it right away. She lingered for many days, but in the end, the stress (and Comet cleanser) was too much for her. R.I.P. Carly.
I was thinking Jessa would be devastated. So Daddy and I had the bright idea to take her to Petsmart and tell her in the parking lot what had happened. (David was in Iraq. . .) She knew Carly was sick, so we wanted to tell her the truth. We told her that sometimes fish get sick or old and they die. But when they die, their spirit goes to fishie heaven. And she looked at us, and said, "So Carly is in heaven with Jesus?" I said, "Yes." She cracked up and said, "Fish can swim all around heaven with Jesus! That is so funny!" And then she asked if she could pick out a new fish. We of course said yes, after all, that is why we were telling her in the Petsmart parking lot, right? And I made a bad decision and let them BOTH pick out a fish. This is bad because they are never going to die at the same time, so we will always have fish. Well, until they go away to college.
Hannah Montana was Jessa's new fish. Charlie was Spencer's. Hannah Montana was not a well fish. Within a few days, May pulled a switcheroo, and we had Hannah Montana (2). R.I.P. Hannah Montana (but don't tell Jessa).
(For those keeping score, we are at 4 total fish.)
These 2 were pretty healthy for almost a year. But then there was the incident. Even though HM2 bounced back temporarily, but I think that the shock was just too much for her. A few weeks later, Hannah Montana (2) was swimming with Carly, HM1, and according to Jessa, Jesus.
Jess did take this hard. It was July 4th weekend, and she was hysterical. She said, we need to get to church. Well, I hated to squelch her instinct to go to church when she is sad. So thanks to a very sweet church office manager, Jessa and I took a cup with her dead fish to church and said prayers on the front row. She headed out to the car, while I stopped by the bathroom for HM's internment. R.I.P. Hannah Montana 2.
She picked out a fish at Petsmart, and she was happy again. Once we were home, I was attempting to transfer the new fish, Chloe Lynn into the tank. The fish was trying to get away from my net. Serious evasive maneuvers. Somehow in her attempts to get away from me and my attempts to capture her, she hopped away from my net and right into the garbage disposal. If you think that Betta fish cannot jump, trust me, they can. Or if you still do not believe me, read this. Oh the horror! I turned on the water trying to help it breathe, but I could not get that darned disposal off the sink. My poor cousin Nikki came running after I screamed in terror, and she was googling garbage disposal removal. She was the brave one who looked down the hole to call it. R.I.P. Chloe Lynn 1 Oh. My. Gosh. I cannot tell you how traumatized I was. I was a murderer. We distracted Jessa, and David brought a replacement home. (He also cleaned up the remains. When I was panicked on the phone trying to tell him what happened and asking him what I should do, he coldly said, I dunno, just turn on the disposal, I guess. Ahh! I do not want to know how he cleaned up, but I am choosing to believe she went the way of all fish pets. Flush.)
(total Key fish tally: 6)
Then last week, Charlie started not looking so good. So we started preparing Spencer. He said, he thought Charlie just had a headache. Charlie was a trooper, and he hung on and on and on and on. To spare you the gory details, he was not doing well in the end. David handled the "burial" while Spencer and I were running errands. R.I.P. Charlie
Then a day or so later, David and Spencer headed to the store and he came home with a new Betta fish. We asked him what the new fish was named, and he replied, "It's Charlie Again." Which would not be so funny except that every time someone asks him what the name of his fish is, he says the same thing, "Charlie Again."
Key Family Fish to date:
In fish heaven: 5
In our house: 2 (Chloe Lynn and Charlie Again)