One morning we woke up and scampered downstairs and found it glistening bright against the green shag carpet. It was dead, my brother and I understood that. What we didn't understand was why? How?
"It must have jumped," my mom only said.
Do goldfish jump? Do they yearn for freedom from their glass cages, imagining the thrill of the wind at their fins, blissfully not knowing that the moment of glory will come at the ultimate price?
Do goldfish dare to dream?
At our pediatrician's advice we took G to see a physical therapist. He has mild torticullis: diminished neck rotation to the left side as a result of some tight muscles. It will probably turn out to be a nothing thing, a blip in the memory of time, provided we do his exercises that she taught us. So, okay, we have some exercises to do with him, and we'll see the therapist for a while so she can monitor his progress.
[And may I just interject a moment to say thank goodness for good doctors and good insurance that we can get some help that these things can become nothing things. L scraped her knee on the sidewalk today. That might turn out to be a more traumatic diagnosis.]
But the therapist, she said: "Hold him tight. He's strong, and he's a kicker."
Well, we knew that about G already, but it was as if in the moment he knew it for the first time about himself.
Now if he is put down anywhere he doesn't want to be he will arch his back so strongly and suddenly that he only touches the ground with the top of his head and the flat of his feet. He will lift his entire body away in a blue-eyed blue rainbow of disapproval and refusal to go quietly into that good night. On the floor or on his playmat or in his crib or on the changing table it simply means that my sunny-side-up baby is faster than a blink of an eye now sunny-side-down. But imagine, if you will, the infant carrier, shaped like an open V, sitting at adult-waist-height inside the stroller.
When he arches up and over, I have to catch him quickly that he doesn't propel himself straight out. All I can think of is my childhood goldfish.