When Jen's son, Sean, turned three, Jen's parents bought the toddler a Betta fish. It looked like an ordinary fish but had beautiful fins and could breathe air from the water's surface.
"I know your schedule is hectic with Sean and work," Jen's mother said, "but you won't have to worry about taking care of it, as long as the dog can't reach it. Just an occasional sprinkle of freeze dried shrimp in this little fish bowl. It doesn't need filtration or a pump. Besides, Sean will love watching it in his room."
It was the kind of bowl Jen used when she made strawberry trifle. "He can watch his dog in his room."
Jen's mother found a beautiful tank for Sean's fish, now named Goldie. "This tank goes perfectly with your living room! Look at the chrome trim and the lovely waterfall."
"Mom, I need a light for this and a pad and some rocks and stuff in there and a pump for the waterfall. Besides, it's too big for Goldie."
"So, we'll get her some company."
"This is a Betta fish, Mom. It's not an exotic $20 fish. Goldie doesn't need a palace."
Along with a supply of Amquel, Novaqua, aquarium salt, and a PH kit for the new tank, Jen's mother found a sucker fish to keep Goldie company. "It's really a small catfish," she said, "but it will keep the tank clean. I couldn't get a male Betta, because they're very aggressive toward their females. I didn't think Sean would want to see that."
Within two weeks, the sucker fish passed away. So did the next sucker fish. Goldie thrived.
For Sean's fifth birthday, he received a lizard from Jen's parents. The lizard came with its own tank, a heat lamp, a tank lamp, a tank pad, and a supply of wax worms and crickets. "Oh my God! My electric bill!" Jen said. "Not to mention that crickets are going to be jumping all over the place."
Sean hid in a closet and wouldn't come out till the lizard and his house were back in grandma's car.
- Delray Beach, FL, Westport, MA, United States
- Undergraduate degree, Colby College; MA in teaching, Columbia Teacher's College; former high school English teacher in three states; former owner of interior design co. with advanced degree from R.I. School of Design. Published first book in 2009 titled, MINOR LEAGUE MOM: A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS. Her humorous manuscript titled ELDERLY PARENTS WITH ALL THEIR MARBLES: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE KIDS was published in June, 2014. In 2015 A SURVIVAL GUIDE won a gold medal in the self-help category at the Florida Authors & Publishers Association conference. See website By CLICKING HERE.