In high school I had a religion teacher that was very adamant about the 'fact' that animals do not go to heaven. His reasoning was that an animal has no soul so they could not spend eternity in the presence of God. I distinctly remember thinking that was a rather crummy theory.
After Sunday night not only do I think it's a really crummy theory but I strongly suspect that this teacher never had to explain the death of a pet to a three year old (and his two year old sister with big ears)
Thing 1 and Thing 2 were busy getting ready for bed on Sunday night when Grant came out to inform me that "Tangerine is no longer with us." Well, crap! I will readily admit that this is the biggest reason Grant and I were both hesitant about getting fish in the first place. I mean, let's face it, goldfish don't have the longest lifespan.
Grant (bless him!) offered to tell Noah the following morning while he was home with the kiddos in the morning while I went to Perrysburg for a doc appointment. I sucked it up, said no, that I thought we should do it together.
So with him sitting on Grant's lap I gently broke the news to Noah that Tangerine had passed away. Noah (bless him!) took it fairly well. After I convinced him that Tangerine wasn't just sleeping ("But Mom, he lays on his side like that when he sleeps") he asked what had happened. I told him he hadn't done anything wrong, God had just decided it was time for Tangerine to be with Him. Yes, unnamed religion teacher, I thumbed my nose at your theory and basically told my kiddo that his goldfish was in heaven. Who knows, my 'theory' is just as legitimate as yours. I mean, God created all the animals so who's to say they don't deserve a place in His Kingdom, too? I have a whole slew of questions I plan on asking God one day, this one is totally on the list.
So we made it over that hurdle (Grant conducted a burial at sea later that evening...) and thought we had escaped relatively unscathed. When I picked up Noah from school today he told me that they were talking about fish in school today and he had shared with his class that Tangerine had died but he still had Creamsicle. Cut to us getting home, me putting away some toys in Noah's room and noticing that now Creamsicle was belly up. *Sigh*
I sucked it up and told Noah by myself this time that Creamsicle had passed away, too. The poor kid looked at me with huge eyes and asked why. And what could I possibly say to that? I told him once again that it wasn't his fault and that it just happened sometimes. He again took it fairly well (No tears from him, but this Mama shed a few once he was safely tucked in for his nap) and told Grant about it when he got home tonight. He keeps saying that maybe we should get bigger fish next time, but I'm not sure that I'm ready for any more pets just yet....