Family life – Courtney and Goldy come home….

There is such a thing as an unalloyed moment, but they’re very rare. Marianne and I have been telling Jessica and Sophie that they just might get goldfish and a fish tank for a while now, and today we thought it was time to make good on the suggestion. So, just after lunch time, with a quick chorus of ‘Sing ho for the expedition’ we jumped into the world’s most middle-class family sedan, and headed off to the aquarium shop.

The one we went to has been there forever. I mean, I remember buying various sorts of exotic tropical fish from the same shop when I was in my mid-teens, so it’s been there for at least 30 years. Like most anyplace that trades in life, it was a little seedy, a little magical, and a little strange. There were all different kinds of tanks and filters and gravel, there were carp and mollies and axolotls. Great, grand fighting fish and pretty simple gold fish. The girls were excited, up beat, and wanted to get into every nook and cranny.

We spent a rather enchanting time exploring before deciding to buy a small tank and two fish – a fantail called ‘Courtney’ and bronze comet called ‘Goldy’. And, just as we got ready to leave the aquarium shop things kind of fell apart. Jessica, who gets tired and whose self-control lapses when that happens, began to meltdown completely because she couldnt’ hold the fish. We had shouting and tantrums on the way back to the world’s most middle class family sedan, on the way home, all the way through setting up the tank, and through releasing the fish into their new home. It was only after an hour of this that she finally calmed down, and sat, happily gazing at her new best pals. Sophie, of course, was sweet and reasonable all through this. I’m almost convinced they don’t plan these things, but only almost.

And so Jessica and Sophie have gotten their first ever pets, if you can call fish pets.  It’s weird and sweet and stressful.  I guess that’s family life.