Our two fish died, the fish that we got for Little K's party favors just a few days shy of a year ago.
I discovered them floating belly up during the kids quiet/nap times. I thought about how to break the news to them and wanted to be delicate and gentle. I had no emotional connection with them, but I wanted to be aware that they might. So I sat down with them and told them the news. I was kind and gentle, spoke slowly and prepared myself to be sympathetic about fish. They looked at each other and Little K said, “Now we don't have to feed them for a chore.” Then Princess K said, “Are we going to flush them in the potty?”
Over the next two days I cleaned up the tank...Handsome K and I decided not to replenish the fish. The kids didn't miss a beat.
And then another day...
Little K and Princess K were pretending they were driving to Texas. They were talking about our family and sort of calling roll in their pretend car. Our yorkie, Mocha, usually makes the roll call (and dinner table prayer for that matter) and this time was no different. Then they stopped and Little K looked at me and very seriously asked, “Can Mocha come to Texas with us the next time we go?”
Side note: Back when we only had 1 or 2 kids our dog came with us. You should see us now when we go through security, it's a sight! Needless to say we usually op for our little yorkie to stay home when we travel.
So I honestly replied, “Well, do you remember all the bags and car seats we bring with us when we fly on airplanes? We have a lot of things we have to bring, and with stuff and three kids it's usually easier to have her stay with someone at home.”
Little K thought about this for a moment...
Then he very seriously suggested, “Why don't we get a babysitter for Baby K and bring Mocha with us?”
I laughed out loud and realized he wasn't joking. He thought it was a good idea. I then carefully said, “I think that your grandparents and aunts and uncles might enjoy seeing Baby K a little bit more than Mocha, what do you think?”
Little K did not let up...”Why? They don't know him as well as they know Mocha...maybe we could bring Mocha the next time and then Baby K after that.”
I tried to figure out why he wanted Mocha with us.
Is it because she's been a constant in our family since before he was born. They play together periodically, but I wouldn't say they spend a lot of time together.
Interesting...we've had Mocha 11 years, the fish almost one year, and Baby K for almost 10 months...I guess love does grow with time and shared experiences.
I don't really think they'd trade our dog for our baby.
I also thought they'd be sad about the fish?
The longer I know Jesus, the more I want to be with Him...we've been on a journey together for 26 years.
Some parts of the journey, I've reacted much like the kids and the fish...not concerned with our relational well-being, seeing our relationship as a chore or a task to complete, only thinking about His presence once in awhile.
Some parts I've lived like my kids think about our dog...in a constant awareness of His presence, willing to trade anything for Him, to give Him anything, knowing that no matter what He's there, experiencing His power, loving Him.
The latter parts are best.
The parts where I am devoted because of the relationship, because His love and presence compels me to think about Him.
So...I want to be like my kids are with our dog...devoted, loving, thoughtful, inclusive, protective even.
For His Love Compels me.