I'm sad to report that Coral the Goldfish has gone to that happy goldfish bowl in the sky, after only 32 hours as a member of the Peevie household.
Last night, Mr. Peevie and I were out dancing the night away and mostly refraining from drunken bidding on frivolous baskets of goodies at the fundraiser for C. Peevie's school. When we arrived home, C. Peevie presented us with the sad news that Coral the Goldfish was either a) on his last fins or b) deceased.
"I prayed for Coral with M. Peevie," my tender-hearted boy said, "but I think it might have already been too late."
Even though it was almost midnight, M. Peevie was still awake when I went into her room to check on the presciently-named Coral (Nemo's mom, Coral, was devoured by a barracuda early in Finding Nemo). "Where's Coral?" I asked, trying to keep the concern out of my voice.
"He's sleeping over here by me, on the bottom," M. Peevie said confidently. "Mom, do goldfish sleep with their eyes open?"
"I don't know, M.," I said.
"Well, I hope so," she said, "because he's laying there with his eyes open. I think he's just sleeping, but C. Peevie said he might be sick."
I had a sinking feeling, but I didn't want to deal with a hysterical eight-year-old at midnight, so I let it go. "Let's just check on him in the morning, M. Peevie," I hedged.
Of course, in the morning, Coral's condition remained unchanged--but M. Peevie clung to denial and hope: "Maybe he's sleeping in!" she suggested.
"No, M.," I said, as gently as I could, "Coral is dead. I'm sorry."
M. Peevie's face fell, and she was quiet for about 35 seconds.
"That was the best name, too," she said sadly, but then she perked up. "Can I get another goldfish, Mom?"
Ah, the optimistic resilience of youth.