It was a serious discussion. But I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. We were talking about end of life issues. I had a comical image in my mind. The presenter suggested that we include the family in the discussion of dying. I included the pets. Children should be included.
The presenter suggested that when a pet dies the children should be told and involved. There is a commercial on television that shows the family goldfish floating on top of the water, obviously dead. But the child hasn't seen it yet. So the father quickly runs to the pet store and finds a goldfish lookalike, buys it, and hurriedly drives back home to swap the live fish for the dead fish.
The presenter said the family missed the opportunity to introduce the child to an important fact of life--death. Children find out about it sooner or later. It would be better for the child to learn about death from his parents before a loved one dies. The demise of the goldfish would have been a good teachable moment.
Of course, I agree. I wholeheartedly agree. However, what happened in my family when the goldfish died, was a real lesson in life.
Picture this. We parents find the goldfish belly up in the goldfish tank. We had more than one fish in the tank. The kid can't count all the fish, especially when they swim around. He'll never know he died. The fish won't be missed. So we flushed the dead fish down the toilet bowl.
So we thought. Busted.
Then we had to do some fast thinking to explain how the fish got from the fish tank into the toilet bowl.