The annual spring art show and festival was held at my daughter’s school last night. I adore the art show. I think it’s brilliant. One piece of every student’s art is showcased in the library, museum style, for all to see: parents, siblings, grandparents, friends. It’s a great way to highlight both the all-volunteer Art Corps program, and the talent of the student body.
It’s also a good reminder of what our children are lacking in most California public schools. Where are the art teachers? Where have they gone? Art is the highlight of my daughter’s week, that is the weeks that she has art, so that is to say, the art lesson (taught by parent volunteers NOT an art teacher) is the highlight of my daughter’s month at school.
Obviously, I should do more art with her at home. But I don’t. Guess what I do instead?
I take care of the damn fish she won at the festival!!!
Doesn’t Anna Watkin's fish look pissed?!? (It's a bit hard to see at this size, but it does, believe me.)
I was actually a bit pissed last year when my daughter informed me that she had won a fish (at the ART show). Who gave her permission to care for a living thing? Well, apparently her dad did, with the stipulation that it was to reside at my house (that sounds like him).
I sucked it up. I outfitted the fish with an aquarium, and colored marbles, and some shells (although I did not fall into the live plant trap). I bought the fish food flakes and the magical drops that turn our water from chemical death pool into placid swimming environment.
I even bought my younger daughter a fish. (She chose a hideous black one with those freaky, bulging eyes.)
I thought they would both die. Right away.
One did, the ART show fish. We had a small ceremony. Then we flushed him (Pumpkin was his name). Just Big cheeks (yes, I did try to convince my daughter that Big eyes was a more appropriate name, but she would not go for it) was left.
Big cheeks kept on living. Month after month.
Until the morning I was rushing to get all my tasks done before I could run away to Palm Springs for the weekend with my girlfriends.
Just one wrong pour from temporary holding container to sink, and Big cheeks was gone. I panicked. I shoved my hand down the kitchen drain. I felt around. Frantically. I did not feel him. In my anxious state of mind, I decided to run more water to see if I could feel him as the water rose. No. I’m now convinced this just moved him closer toward the water treatment facility. Poor Big cheeks. Adios.
So this year? This year I was rooting on my older daughter as she tried to land a ping pong ball in a fish container.
Why not, right? If I get really sick of him, there is always the sink.
Here’s to art. And fish. And fish as art.