It was early enough in the morning that I still had my robe on. I was downstairs packing the backpacks when my daughter walked into the kitchen.
She had a concerned look on her face.
She said I had to come with her. She put her little hand in mine and led me upstairs to her bedroom, to the fish bowl.
Crowny the fish had swum his last swim.
I gave my little girl a hug. She had tears in her eyes. She knew.
I had about forty-five minutes to get my daughter, my son and myself fed, dressed, teeth brushed, bags packed and out the door for daycare and work.
Now I had to squeeze in grief counseling and a funeral.
I'm not sure how but we all made it out to the garden less than an hour later with the jewelry store coffin in hand and only a few minutes over schedule.
I dug a shallow grave next to Fred the fish's resting place. I gently put the box in under the topsoil and mulch. I placed a good size granite rock over the patted down grave.
Dressed in office clothes with shovel in hand I said a prayer.
"Thank you, God for letting us have Crowny in our lives.
He was a strong, brave fish that made us happy to look at.
Thank you for Crowny's beautiful colors.
This is the kind of thing that is not in the books on parenting that you get at your baby shower.
These are the kind of things that parenting is all about.