You have to understand that we have been putting him off about getting a pet for, oh, about three years now. . . . Mostly on the grounds that a) I already have three little mess-makers to clean up after without voluntarily introducing a fourth, thank you very much, and b) allergies. We are working on the allergies issue to see whether we might be able to get a cat (cats are reportedly very fastidious). For three whole years he has been begging for a dog, a cat, a frog, anything at all, really. And then he got the sea monkeys for Christmas (from a relative, not from us), and such jubilation and expectation you have never seen. He sat there watching the bowl of tap water on his dresser for a good chunk of the evening yesterday. He even set up lamp nearby “to give them more heat.” And he fussed over them most of the day today, which is how he ended up dropping the container on the floor, spilling all the water and the nearly invisible sea monkey eggs.
Great weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued. “I wish I could go back in time,” he moaned. I let him curl up with me in bed while he worked it out. Then we went online and bought replacement sea monkeys for $13. (We could order replacements by mail for $7 if we were willing to wait up to six weeks.) That made him feel better, although he was still upset about “killing” the sea monkeys. He was somewhat consoled by the idea that they are with God now—“playing and having fun in heaven.” Still, after our evening prayer, he wanted to have a memorial service with a song and everything.
Now, I am not big on brine shrimp in the first place, but I’m all for supporting his budding sense of the sacredness of all creation (no matter how small). So we talked a little bit about how every creature is part of God’s creation, and how the Book of Revelation suggests that all of creation will participate in Christ’s salvation (if not in the same privileged way that humans do). Then we sang “All the Ends of the Earth.” You know, that’s the song that goes: “All you ends of the earth, all you creatures of the sea, lift up your eyes to the wonders of the Lord . . . .” Perfect for sea monkeys.