“Did you have any pets when you were little?”
Oh no. I hope this isn’t going where I think it is. “We had fish.”
“No, like a real pet!”
Jared laughed. “Fish are real pets! You have to care for them and make sure they don’t die.”
“Ok, yeah, but I mean like a dog or cat.”
“We only had fish, son.”
He went back to his dinner and hoped that would be the end of the pet talk. Jared didn’t mind animals, but the thought of having to clean up hair and bodily fluids made his neat-freak skin crawl.
“Do you like dogs?” the boy asked.
Here we go. How do I answer this without inadvertently giving my blessing?
“Dogs are nice sometimes.”
Kaleb went back to his dinner, and so did Jared, hoping there was no more where that came from.
“I think I want a pet.”
“Is that so?”
Jared waited for the rest, but there was no more. He didn’t want to, but he had to ask…carefully. “So…what kind of pet would you want?”
“An alien! Can you bring me one back from space please please pleeeease?”
Jared’s laughter echoed throughout the room. “Of course, son, but what are you going to do with it?”
“Just look at it.”
“Because they’re so cool!”