For weeks, anytime Felmata sees a fish (on TV, in Cartoons, in a book, in aquariums ...) he says "YUMMY!" "FISH"! Then he makes a cutting motion and pretends to be picking apart the fish to eat. One would think I would have cooked the child some fish by now. I'm embarassed to say ... I have not. I am not a fish lover. In fact, the smell of it turns my stomach. I did not eat fish as a child, I do not eat fish as an adult ... unless it's tuna from a can with mayo and lots of veggies added in. That's not the funny part of the story.
Today was a hard day for Felmata (see my last blog post). A few days ago we were at the neighbors, and he got to feed their pet fish. He thought that was fun. I thought ... Felmata needs a fish of his own. What a fun project that would be! We could care for it, love it, he could have a pet of his own.
At Meijer today we bought a very cute (if they can be cute!) Beta fish complete with his own food and "safe water" solution. You can probably see where this story is heading ... I, on the other hand, didn't follow the logical conclusion until it was almost too late.
Fast forward to lunch time.
Me: "Felmata" ... "What would you like for lunch?"
Me: "Oh, Honey! Mommy's sorry but we don't have any fish. How about some pasta?"
This is the part I should have seen coming. For the Beta's sake, if not for my own.
Felmata proceeds to run to the fish bowl, and grab for the Beta. He splashes, he stabs, he very nearly has the Beta in his hand. There is water everyone. If fish could scream, Beta would be howling.
Felmata: "FISH! YUMMMMY! FISH for LUNCH!!!"
Apparently he thought the nice pet Beta was our lunch.
How could I serve the child pasta after that?? We got our shoes on and headed to Lamberts (a seafood specialty market) and I bought the boy some perch.
He loved it. And the Beta is still alive ... for today anyway.
If you're wondering how Felmata did with sending his 2 favorite people off to school today ... these pictures say it better than I could. Poor little guy!!
Thankfully he's resilient and I had the foresight to have a new box of playdough waiting for when we got home!
I took a few minutes tonight to look at a few, and so many emotions came rushing back. The joyful, fun loving, exciting, loving, lover-of-all-things-new child we've been blessed with came from a very different world than we know. I should know that ... I was there ... but life takes over and I forget. Even in a short month. I sometimes forget about his birth mom who loves him. I think less and less about the poverty & hunger he's experienced for most of his life. I forget about the friends he's left behind. It's only been a month, but somehow I have to remind myself that he hasn't been mine forever. And I'm so thankful he's mine now, and will be from here on out.
This image of a market in Ethiopia
compared with this image of our day today
is a stark reminder of all that has happened in my sweet little boy's life in one short month.