Many thanks to all who are praying for us and baby. I’ve been so encouraged by the comments, emails, and texts coming, and so glad to know that we are in your prayers! We are very thankful that at each ultrasound so far the baby appears to be doing very well and suffering no effects from the cholestasis. Now, unless baby arrives on his own in the next 48 hours, they will induce labor on Sunday morning. I am beyond ready to meet him and so glad to have an end in sight.
It is birthday week around here, with Harriet turning four on Monday and our little Hugh turning two today. We are making him a cake that looks like a bus and having a group of friends in for dinner. To everybody’s delight (and relief) my parents are here to hold us together and help us celebrate.
And yes, three of our children will have birthdays in the same week and the fourth just two weeks later. The two intervening weeks hold Thanksgiving Day, which is also my own birthday. Yes, this is a lot of celebrating. No, we don’t mind. We like to go big or go home when it comes to birthday month around here.
In other news, we have a fish. Why did I pick this month to adopt another living creature to care for? I do not know, people. Lately I have made a significant number of spontaneous decisions that, upon further reflection, appear to be mistakes. I can only hope this baby arrives and my mind returns to normal before I suddenly decide we need to set up the kiddie pool in the living room or rent a milk goat for the basement.
It all started so innocuously. We were studying fish in science, so I brought the children to the pet super-store to view the fish. If you are not an American, it may be helpful if I describe these places. Pets and their care are a major industry in this indulgent country and our pet shops are enormous warehouses of animals, their equipment, delicacies to tempt their appetites, their clothing and fashion accessories, and decor for their habitats. The one we visited included a medical clinic for their ailments and a salon in the rear to keep their furstyles up-to-date. (It reminded me of Harrod’s.)
The children were wildly enthusiastic about the array of tropical fish on view at this wonderland. I was letting them run about and tap on the glass and exclaim to one another when it happened. My eyes wandered to the shelves on the right and made contact with a betta fish in a plastic tub. Under it was a yellow price sticker: MALE BETTA $3.49. Really? For just three bucks this fabulous colored creature could swim about our home, creating appreciation of God’s creation in my fascinated offspring? If Hugh had begun sampling fish food at that moment or something I may have been saved. Unfortunately his behavior was impeccable (of all the luck).
“Let’s get a fish!”
I said, and our doom was sealed. The children thought this a brainwave and even the eventual discovery that survival of the fish would not be guaranteed for $3.49 unless we also spent $6 on fish food and de-chlorinating drops and $8 on a plastic fish bowl did not dissuade Mommy, who at this point had completely lost whatever mind she entered the store with.
After a lively discussion the girls named our blue-and-red betta “Rainbow Moe” with the agreement to call him Moe. And that was all the further interest they have taken in him in the last three weeks. I, on the other hand, don’t know what I would do without him. I change and dechlorinate his water, clean his bowl, feed him, and feel sorry for him as he makes slow revolutions in his tiny plastic home. “I don’t think I like this trapped-fish-on-the-dining-room table thing,” said Alex. Nor I, dear. But I have too much conscience to “forget” to feed him (weirdly, I have twice forgotten to serve Hugh this week but I’ve never forgotten to feed Moe). Yesterday he was lying very low in the bottom of the bowl and I was filled with hope that he was expiring. But today he seems to have bounced back.
On Offer: One (1) small male betta fish, red and blue. Mild temperament, non-smoker, potty-trained. Available without cost. Comes with fish food, a plastic fish bowl, and my deepest gratitude.