O Fishy Fish
As much as I would like to engage with folks in a fun-filled debate about the propriety of keeping wild creatures, who are accustomed to roaming several hundreds of miles in the course of a week, or migrating over continents just to find a less cold place to have a reproductive poke (or what have you, if you like to, you know, do it via a medium like, say, gravel... I am not permitted to judge you. This is Canada [for the time being]), in a cage , tank, or other enclosure , let us put aside such rhetorical endeavors for the moment while I relate the following tale which, minus digressions, is quite without a point other than your standard "dad spends day with daughter-dad madly in love-brain to mush-daughter fascinating" tripe which I keep saying I will avoid typing about but to which I am ineluctably drawn, like moth to flame, due to the quotational phenomenon I just attempted to describe. I am the soft-headed fool parent I disdained prior to mine and mo-wo's epic journey up the Adams River where we squirted our reproductive goo onto the gravel, and then died, hoping the river wouldn't be paved over by the time our fry hatched (which is indubitably the salmon's last thought, oh yeah, you can see it in their eyes) or something to that effect.
I am consistent at nothing save being inconsistent. As an example: I am, traditionally, opposed to keeping animals in captivity for our entertainment (our fat bastard cats being the exception), rodeos (d0n't get me started), and the military. However, I pay taxes which support our military, I love a juicy steak carved from the heaving corpse of some poor 4H cow, and I went to the aquarium with e last week using my aquarium membership card (which has its privileges, for example, I can use it to get into the aquarium, or to scrape frost from my windscreen). I swear there were mitigating circumstances involved with the purchase- it was cheaper than going just the once without a membership... it's because I am cheap.
This tale is lost in the telling. It is in the digressions that the tale is identified as lost. I am reluctant to describe any of this, but as I said when I began this voyage through the blogoverse, I cannot afford actual therapy.
This all to say, nervous shrugging of the shoulders dispensed with, e and I went to the local aquarium last week, on a whim, to celebrate the last daddy day care day until nuthatch is born. (From the piscine to the avian- when will this author make up his mind? Is he fish or fowl?) I attempted to contemplate the serious fish in captivity subject identified above, but the kid kept interrupting me. It was as if she was entertained by the 'sarks', turtles, beluga whales and other finned and feathered habitues of our local nature jail. The beauty of the event was e's complete lack of cynicism, a life unpolluted by peer group savagery, or the constraints of socialization which tell us not to eat raw onions or potatoes, to shit our pants, or to anthropomorphize the captive animals and write angry letters to the editor regarding their plight from the comfort of a 500 square foot condo. The child's mind is not yet captive to these various notions. It can still migrate freely.
Truth be told, I am remiss to suggest I had any thoughts about the captivity issue while we were there. I loved nearly every moment of the trip. I savoured the look of wonder on e's face as she saw some new thing (and it was all new). I laughed my ass off, inside, as she repeated the names of the various creatures I identified, her first turtles, otters, and whales. In spite of my dour and introspective nature I was elevated by this time with her- I forgot my worries about my job, my home, my insufferably long list of grown-up and made-up concerns- my baby and I breathed and lived together and had a great time.