We bought a fish. A red, male betta, with beautiful and elongated fins, purple streaks and orange checkers on his top side.
His name is: fish.
Stella, whose rowdy imagination normally conjures up elaborate stories involving princesses and poop, has never had a knack for naming things. When it comes time to imagine a name for her latest stuffed animal or doll from the local thrift store, she suddenly turns into a literal junkie. Her doll is doll, her baby is baby. Her stuffed animals have names like dog, bear, big monkey, baby dog, fish and reindeer. When a doll from her Grandma Gwen arrived from Europe, she aptly named it Grandma Gwen. Even when I offer up other possibilities, like flip or grizzle, she normally sighs unenthusiastically.
Our fish named fish lives in a little bowl with stones that Stella and I have slowly gathered from the Pacific Ocean. There is one bright white seashell in the bowl and it's cracked on one end, like a chipped tooth. The bowl sits on our dining table and the fish, the closest thing we will ever have to a pet, seems quite happy and content.
With forty-fours to go before meeting my son, I sat down to write about what this reality feels like, about the complicated nature of his arrival, about missing Margot, about how we added the breastfeeding rocker to our bedroom last night. And about how we are doing everything and anything to distract ourselves until it is time to meet our son.
Like writing about a fish.