"Crap, we have a floater," I thought in my head last night when I went to shake food flakes into our motionless fish's bowl. This isn't, however, what I said to my son who was "daddy" to the deceased Betta fish named Dunebuggy.
"Honey, I think your fish passed on," I said, instantly realizing this was a stupid response because 6-year-olds aren't familiar with most euphemisms.
And sure enough …
"What does that mean?" Kai asked.
"Honey," I said. "Dunebuggy died."
Clearly, I wasn't prepared for the death talk, and because I was nervous, way too many words spilled out of my mouth. This is a common problem of mine: I flap my tongue in the face of tragedy, and Dunebuggy's demise was no different. I started to blabber just about every death cliché in the book, including that it was the fish's "time," that everything and everyone has a season and yes, I even said that the fish was going to a better place.
Then, I asked my kid that if he wanted to say a few words about Dunebuggy before we sent him off with a flush.
"Is Dunebuggy going where the poop goes?" he asked, and then, without waiting for an answer to the first question. "Can I get a new one?"