For the past three years and three months, Annabel and I have taken care of that fish with love and dedication. Granted, we don't do anything fancy, but I do switch her to a clean bowl every few weeks, Annabel keeps a calendar of her daily feedings so one is never forgotten, and in those nostalgic times when we left home for vacation, we always left Sunny with trusted neighbors. We talk to Sunny, include her in family dinners, and sometimes she even makes it into the count as a member of the family. Even our morning babysitter (slash, lifesaver-angel, Kathy) has a special place in her heart for Sunny.
My students know about Sunny, too. One morning earlier this year, I was teaching my high school juniors when I saw a call from Kathy ring through to my watch. Nervously, I picked up the phone, well aware that my students were all listening.
It was Annabel, sobbing.
"Sunny is asleep?!" I gasped. "Where? Is she at the bottom of the bowl or floating at the top?" I was upset, but my students' giggles convinced me to pretend to smile.
Annabel was bawling. "She's at the bottom." Good. I assumed that fish float to the top when they die so I was hopeful. But I know nothing about fish.
Annabel, still sobbing, handed the phone to Kathy. Within seconds, Sunny was awake / back to life. Praise the Lord.
When I got off the call, my students all seized the moment to take us off-track from the lesson, so they asked me questions about the fish. They told me that when Sunny died, I would have to find a fish that looked the same and replace her. They told me a few of their amusing fish-replacement stories. I listened and laughed, then made sure that they knew I wouldn't let them out of the lesson for long. I remember feeling truly happy that morning. Sunny was alive, Annabel and Kathy were relieved, my students were comfortable, and the morning's lesson persevered through distraction.
|Sunny Sun Sun: April 22, 2020|