My first pet was goldfish I won at a church bazaar when I was about 12. I am the oldest of 8, however at the time there were 6 of us. Mother was dead set against pets. “I have all the pets I need and besides none of you will care for it.” The statement was a recording. The event was a Thanksgiving bazaar at St. Thomas Parish. We went with $2.00 in each of our pockets for rides, candy, and any other non-essentials we could buy for a $2.00.
Towards the end of the event, the MC made the announcement that the fishing pond was closing. I had $0.50 I my pocket so I went over, tried the game and won a goldfish in a little bowl. My first pet. As my siblings came over to see my prize, the question arose, “How can we get the fish into the house without mom knowing.” We devised a plan of distraction so I could get my pet into my room on the 3rd floor. It worked. I called the fish “Fido”.
Several days later before school mom told me to pick up my room because she was going to sweep and clean there. Upstairs I ran, picked up everything on the floor and realized that I needed to do something with Fido. Outside my window was a ledge that was mostly hidden from view so I placed Fido out there to keep it out of mom’s way. I ought to add that this is the Cincinnati area and the temperature was raw. Night time lows in the low 20s.
Mom never noticed Fido. I forgot about Fido. The following morning Fido was encased in a solid block of ice. Poor Fido.
The lessen of responsibility was learned. Unfortunately, it was lessen that I forgot or sometimes ignored as an adult. As I am attempting regain my freedom to, I am becoming ever so sensitive to this concept of responsibility as an adjunct to freedom to. Freedom to have money to spend is limited by responsibility to pay bills. Freedom to play pickleball is limited by playing honestly, sharing the ball and the playground, by complementing opponents on their good play, by sharing tips on how to play better. Freedom to socialize is limited by refraining from manipulation, back-biting, condescension, spreading rumors. But more, it requires honest statements of concern and affection, and positive regard. I work hard at this and have made good progress I believe.