Come What May

There was a fish in a bowl on my kitchen counter this morning. It was the first thing I saw when I flipped the switch to light up the pre-dawn darkness. I was blearily trying to process this new object when a flash of blue caught the corner of my eye. My finger nails were blue. With sparkling glitter. I haven’t been a wearer of fingernail polish since the early 90’s. Even then, blue was not a color I wore. That was some party. The thought drifted across my brain. Then I laughed at the idea of myself attending a wild party during which I did wild things. Only apparently my version of “wild” extends just far enough to paint my nails blue and bring home a goldfish. My life is pretty tame. Responsibility will do that to a person.

There really was a party. It was a mother daughter luau. Kiki stayed for the dinner, then bailed for Home. Gleek and I did all the activities. We had our picture taken, made a flower hair clip, made a picture frame, and painted finger nails. The fish were in bowls on the tables as decorations. This meant that at the end of the evening dozens of girls were begging to take fish home, and dozens of mothers were pondering the implications of adding a fish to their lives. We brought ours home in a little plastic cup. I warned Gleek that fish die frequently. She wanted the fish anyway. She cradled the cup in her lap on the way home and named it Silfer. I was glad for her to have this little living thing to care for. She would love to have pets, and I am allergic to most of them.

The fish was still swimming in the morning. So I began my usual round of morning things, starting toast, pouring cereal, making grits, doling out medication. Then I went to wake the children. I found Gleek in bed with Kiki, two girls snuggled together. I have lots of pictures of my kids sleeping, particularly when they are sleeping near each other. They used to do that a lot when they all still came to climb into bed with me. These days it is rare. Gleek called out in the night, and Kiki, who also had a bad dream, invited her for snuggles. I slept through the whole thing.

Gleek went from barely conscious to downstairs looking at her fish in less than a minute. I rummaged around on the top of our cupboards to unearth a decade old can of fish food left over from the days when we owned fish tanks. Gleek carefully placed one small flake in the water with her fish and watched intently to see if Silfer would eat. I went upstairs to poke the boys awake.

Gleek hung up the phone just as I re-entered the room. I stopped.
“Did you just call Bestfriend?”
“I wanted to tell her about Silfer.” Gleek answered. “Bestfriend will want to know I got a fish.”
Gleek was right. Bestfriend really would want to know. However I was certain that Bestfriend’s parents would prefer that this information not be conveyed via telephone at 6:30 AM. I glanced out the window at my backyard neighbor’s house where Bestfriend lives. All the windows were dark. Our phone rang. Caller ID means that Gleek’s early phone call was not anonymous. Our neighbor called back to see if there was an emergency, or a change in carpool arrangements. Because they are kind people, they talked to Gleek about her fish and only gently mentioned that later in the day would be a better time to call. Or so I inferred from Gleek’s half of the conversation. She was the one who answered the phone.

The odd kilter of the morning has continued throughout the day. Howard finished the bonus story yesterday, so he was due some vacation. We rented a movie and had a morning movie date on the couch. With popcorn. I like watching movies with Howard. Once the movie is over when have lots of fun picking at the plot holes and spinning possible patches for them. In this case the movie was 2012 and there were holes a plenty for our amusement.

The kids arrived home from school abuzz with excitement about the assembly where a guy used Yo-yo tricks to talk about practice and perseverance. Naturally the guy also sells yo-yos to interested kids. My kids were all very interested. They came home and conferenced, pooled their money, then walked back over to the school to purchase three yo-yos. I expect frustration and broken strings in the near future, but I love the way they all worked together to make it happen. I also need to make sure that the older siblings pay back the money they borrowed from Patch. He was the wealthy one this time around.

So my house is full of the smell of popcorn, a goldfish in a bowl, blue sparkling nail polish, and flying yo-yos. Had I made a prediction yesterday, it would not have included any of these things. I plan to take what comes and run with it. Although I think I’ll be running sans the blue nail polish. It’s too distracting.