In March, on our trip to Florida, we took the kids to the local flea market. I told the kids they could each pick ONE thing as a souvenir. So, after wandering through the shops, thoroughly examining EVERY item, the kids made their choices: Alayna, a necklace; Greyson, a seashell-filled dolphin bottle opener; Emerson, a women's silk nightie (yes, she wears it ALL the time); and Owen, a turtle.
A real, live, yellow-bellied slider turtle, about the size of a half dollar. His first real pet, named Slippy.
Slippy traveled from Florida to Tennessee, Tennessee to Michigan, Michigan to Tennessee, Tennessee to Ohio, Ohio to Michigan and Michigan back to Ohio. I'm pretty sure that Slippy was the most well-traveled turtle EVER.
He was also the most-loved turtle ever. Owen was so good with him. He'd play with him every day, taking him outside to give him some sunshine and exercise; he'd dig up worms from around the house to feed him; he'd even catch flies inside the house and incapacitate them just enough so they couldn't fly, but would still be appealing to Slippy.
In July, after a week in Michigan, we returned to Ohio with Slippy, but he wasn't the same. He didn't want to eat and he barely moved. On a Sunday afternoon, sweet Slippy passed away. We chose a spot in the backyard to bury him, with all of his favorite rocks surrounding him. I'm here to tell you, there's never been four more-distraught children than mine that day. Slippy was a part of our family and they didn't understand why he died.
After QUITE a few sleepless, tear-filled nights by Owen, and occasionally the other three kids, we looked into getting a new turtle. It turns out, you can purchase turtles online and have them shipped to you. WHO KNEW?! So, I placed the order this past Saturday, and received confirmation yesterday that our turtles, yes, turtles with an "S", were on their way to us.
You would have thought last night at our house was CHRISTMAS EVE. Owen was SO excited, he couldn't sleep. He was up very late, almost in tears with anticipation.
This morning, before 10am, our doorbell rang. THEY WERE HERE.
I held my breath as I slowly opened the package, PRAYING that I would find the three turtles ALIVE...
We opened the tiny container, and lo and behold, three living turtles were waiting to meet us. We pulled the purple fuzz off of them and set them carefully into their new home. They looked quite dry, so we added some water and they were happy.
As they swam, the kids quickly named them.
May I introduce:
The new additions seem pretty happy in their new home, and my kids are elated to have some new little pets to call friends.