In honor of my sister's birthday, I regaled the children with stories of how stinky she was when we were kids. Those are their favorites. I told them how she made me eat dog biscuits, and how she and her friend told me scary stories until I couldn't blink, much less sleep.
But my favorite story (at this particular moment) is one in which she was not a stinker.
When she moved across country, I helped her drive (you would too if your sister made you eat dog biscuits). In the car we had all her worldly possessions and Sparky the goldfish.
Sparky's bowl sat on the floor of the passenger's side. Whenever the driver saw rough pavement ahead, she'd shout "fish!" and the passenger would wake up and shock-absorb the bowl. We traveled 2k miles this way.
When we arrived, we got my sister and Sparky settled into their apartment - my sister in her comfy new bed, Sparky in his bowl, and me on an army cot in the hall.
I told you.
In the middle of the night, I awoke from a rock-solid-dead-to-the-world sleep because I felt a splash on my face. Sparky! I thought. I groped around the top of the bookcase in the dark, found the suicidal little fish, and tossed him back in his bowl.
Fast forward to now: I have just spent hours and hours watching BBC documentaries about the ocean with the kids. And then I told them about Sparky.
Which explains how, 20 years later, my 6 year old solved the whole mystery.
Studley: "Maybe he was laying his eggs."