|*note: this is a pic of a caterpillar on one of our hikes, not the fish the story is about :) I'm not that gross!|
This little man turned 5 last week. I remember when I was pregnant and found it I was having a boy I kind of panicked. Boys are scary, mean, and disgusting. At least that's what I had gathered in my experience. But then Bentley came along and (after seven months of non stop screaming) proved me wrong.
Bentley is the funniest, sweetest boy you could imagine. He is the only one of my kids who shows any inkling of remorse ever. The only one who will apologize ever. And the only one who cries for things besides physical injuries. His bottom lip quivers when he knows you are disappointed. When he falls down and gets hurt if you ever apologize and say, "oooooh buddy, I'm sorry!" his immediate reply through the pain and tears is, "It.....*sniff* ....wasn't....*sob* ....your fault!".
After the movie theater shootings in Colorado, Bentley noticed that the flags were flying half-mast. He asked me why. I told him the story and he was visibly upset about it. And for days, maybe even weeks afterward at random times he would just say, "that is so sad what that man did at that movie theater". And ever since he will notice the flag half mast and ask what sad thing happened.
He gets sad if you forget to give him his goodnight kiss.
Basically, the kid feels. And honestly there are times when I think that maybe Gwen doesn't. I love her, you know I do, but comparing the two kids the contrast is stark! You could offer that girl $20 to apologize for something and she wouldn't do it (Blaine would tell you she gets that from me! Hmph!)
So for his birthday we got the boy some fish. It was really cute as I sent him on a scavenger hunt to find the fish. He was so excited when he found them, and even though he's never implied in any way that he had an interest in fish, he jumped up and down, "it's what I always wanted! A FISH TANK!". After consulting family and friends he named the three fish Pa, Teddy, and Lightning. I had gotten two cheap-o goldfish and one bigger one (two whole dollars, I know, my generosity knows no bounds!).
A few nights after his birthday he burst in to our room in the morning and sounded like an episode of Little House on the Prairie gone wrong when he exclaimed, "something horrible has happened to Pa!" And after giving Pa a couple of hours we concluded that indeed he had gone the way of all the earth, and was not just sleeping as we had dared to hope.
I was impressed at Bentley's coping ability. We flushed Pa (which I realized later I should have done in private, all the kids were very perplexed by it). It came up every once in a while ("that was horrible what happened to Pa!"). But no tears were shed and we pressed through the pain.
Not 48 hours later it appeared that Lightning was fighting to stay belly-down. And sure enough we woke to "something horrible has happened to Lightning!". Flush.
Well, Teddy was still going strong and he was the expensive one anyways. So all was well. Occasionally Lightning and Pa were mentioned, but not extensively. That was maybe two or three days ago.
Then in the middle of the night last night Bentley burst in to our room in hysterics. I was sure he had either a) wet the bed or b) Teddy was toast. Through his tears I learned that neither was true. Teddy was alive, the bed was dry, but oh the tears! The compulsive sobbing, the likes of which I've only done in times of extreme distress. He wailed, "Ohhhhh it's just so sad what happened to Lightning and Pa! Teddy is so lonely! He's all alone and he doesn't know what happened to his friends!". This went on for...well, nearly an hour. In fact there were still sniffles and tears as he hopped on the bus to school. It was a powerful reaction and I wasn't sure how to handle it! Has the poor guy been up the last two nights thinking of how awful the whole experience was? I feel really bad that I didn't set him down and make him talk about his feelings. I had no idea! I figured he kind of understood that goldfish just don't last.
I don't know you had to be there I guess, but this kid. He feels things. He's so sensitive to the feelings of others, both of the human and aquatic variety. And I think whatever girl gets him for a husband is going to be one lucky, well cared for lady.