I’d never realized how much the Bible liked fish. Fishermen catch huge nets full of seafood and are happy. Loaves and fishes get multiplied. Everyone eats fish and is happy. Even Jonah was swallowed by a whale.
The whale was probably the happy one in that situation, though. And yes, I do know that whales are technically not fish.
Apparently, I’m not the only one to have recognized the theological significance of seafood. The Maiden was way ahead of me, and recently decided to impart her knowledge to the general public.
On Sunday mornings, the Maiden and I have an understanding. The understanding is as follows: Mommy will expect good, quiet behavior like all the other kids in church; the Maiden will ignore me; the Maiden will be removed to the crying room where the babies go; the Maiden will scream there; the Maiden will be removed to the back of the church; the Maiden will scream there; the Maiden will be banished to time-out in the back hallway of the adjoining school; the Maiden will become penitent; the Maiden will apologize; the Maiden and her significantly embarrassed mother will finish the remaining five minutes of church in grim silence; the Maiden will lose a privilege at home; the Maiden will lose her mind; Mommy will count down the hours til bedtime.
Apparently, we both thrive well on routine.
This Sunday, however, seemed different. The Maiden sat quietly and colored– in her coloring book, not on the kneeler– until suddenly she was seized with a burning desire to go ye therefore and preach the Gospel. The seafood part of it, that is. To the entire congregation. During the quietest part.
The Maiden sidled up to me. “Mommy?”
“Sssshhh! Church voice!” I hissed, in a most un-churchlike voice myself.
Her evangelical zeal continued in an unabated, and even louder, manner.
“Mommy, when we eat shrimp, we pull the heads off, right?”
I initially pretended the Maiden’s mother was in fact the old lady sitting next to her, but I knew it was no use.
“SSSSSHHHHH!!! Yes dear, we do take off the heads. Enough about shrimp, pay attention!”
The only thing she paid attention to, however, was her unshakable fascination with shellfish anatomy.
“Shrimp don’t have bones,” she continued fortissimo. “They have an exoskeleton, which is bones on the outside. So we pull off the bones. They’re crunchy. We can eat them if we want.” She does, too. As do I, occasionally. Or did.
But she wasn’t finished. “But Mommy,” pausing for dramatic effect, “mostly we take off the bones, and then eat the jelly part inside.”
I disappeared under the pew.
Wriggly, gelatinous shrimp innards. I’m not sure I’m ever going to get that image out of my head. Cross off another item on my list that grosses me out post-Maiden. By the time she’s eighteen I should be down to packages of saltines.
In the meantime, however, non-jelly seafood is still on the table, and the salty air of this fish tale post is making me hungry for the salmon in the fridge.
There isn’t much left, though.
Think Someone might multiply it for me?