When the Roll is Called Up Yonder, He’ll Swim There

He was eerily still.

I peered into the bowl and I knew.

“Mommy what’s wrong with Blue Red?” Miss C walked over and stood beside me.

“Uh, I think he’s just sleeping…oh. I think Blue Red is really ASLEEP. He’s not moving.” (Emphasis on “asleep,” which was code for hubby: “Blue Red is dead. I need some parental backup!”)

Miss C lost her Betta fish Monday night. She had had him for nearly three years, which in fish years seems to be fairly antiquated.

She wanted to bury him with a blue dolphin flashing light we got at the circus a few years ago, but we talked her into laying him to rest with some of his plastic plants from his fish bowl. We’re going to have a burial later today and although our neighbor’s daughter seems keen on attending, I asked that she respect our decision to have a private funeral. Blue Red would want it that way. He is now floating in state in a plastic dollar store cup up on the mantel.

Blue Red was part of the grand big girl room and big girl bed unveiling three summers ago. Miss A was just a few months old and we had Miss C moved out of the crib and nursery. A fish seemed to be the perfect accessory to her new bedroom and the hubby took her out shopping for a friend with fins.

I know Miss C is handling this well because one of the first things she asked after we confirmed Blue Red’s death was, “Can I get a new fish?”

Being a typical girl and Type A planner like her mama, she already has the details mapped out. The new fish shall be a girl, it shall be red, and it shall be named Violet. Considering Blue Red was blue and black, this makes perfect sense to me.

We’re going to wait until the weekend to pick out a new fish, though. It’s only right that we honor Blue Red’s memory for a few days.


  1. Loralee says:

    I can’t keep fish alive for more than a few months, so I am impressed. I hate it when family pets die. It’s always so tricky with the kids. Yours seems to be taking it pretty well.

    Loralee’s last blog post..Sideblog: Going to Minnesota!

  2. Holly Schwendiman says:

    Been there, done that! My daughter begged and begged for a fish and we got her a Beta when she was 4. It made it about the same amount of time, and was laid to rest in the back yard. She was big into Elmo at the time she got him so his name was Dorothy. I love how similar our posts/lives are sometimes. 🙂


  3. Amy says:

    Oh, I’m sorry for your loss.

    I want to get Shark Boy a fish but I have always feared fish death. I am amazed you had one for 3 years. What type of fish was it?

    Amy’s last blog post..Tax Time!

  4. Jennilu says:

    Yes, yes – I have been there, too. Kaylea got her Beta when she was 3. We came home after a weekend out of town (and yes, we left food for it) and the fishy was a floater. Luckily, Kaylea was asleep so we decided not to tell her about the dead fish and just replace it the next day. Our plan worked, but only for a month or two. The dang replacement fish died, too. Amazingly, she wasn’t heart broken; she just wanted to go buy a new one. We held off for a few years, though.

    Jennilu’s last blog post..Did You Know……

  5. Jade says:

    Oh I’ve been there! WE had that happen to all our Hamsters! Not at the same time of course!
    I can’t believe how attached we would get to them- even me!!

    Jade’s last blog post..Father & son

  6. Jennifer says:

    My only attempt for the girls to have a fish was a party favor they got from a Nemo theme b’day party we went to. It feel “asleep” within 4 days. I had a big fish tank for years and was used to having a filter and all clean the tank, so I didn’t know not to change the water every day so I was the one to blame for Nemo’s early death.

    Jennifer’s last blog post..Happy Wednesday!

  7. Lisa says:

    Oh man….that could have been tough! I’m glad she’s taking it so well!

    When I taught kindergarten I had a beta named Rainbow who liked to fake death. Try explaining that to a classroom of kiddos at a non-parochial school. Fun!

    Lisa’s last blog post..Lulu, the professional eater…..

  8. Jane @ Kidzarama says:

    Kids are so resilient when you least expect it.

    When Wren’s first goldfish bit the bullet, I expected tears too, but there were none. She had the same question.

    We were less respectful and went to the pet shop the same day. Shameful, I know.

    In our defence, we do still have the body in a pot-plant somewhere out the back…

    Jane @ Kidzarama’s last blog post..School Holiday Sanity

  9. Southern Mom says:

    Oh, what a trooper Miss C is!

    I never have that good of luck with fish…the shortest I ever had a fish was years and years ago when I didn’t know you couldn’t put 2 betas in one bowl. You can guess the ending to that story.

    Southern Mom’s last blog post..Time and Motivation

  10. Amy says:

    Ethan lost his first fish last year and it was heartbreaking. He bawled his eyes out. The tank is still empty because I don’t know if I want to go through all of that death talk and tears again. It sounds like your sweet little girl bounced right back. Seems like it should be the other way around 😉

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