Tommy the turtle came to stay with us over the weekend. He was on shore leave from third grade for a few days.
I wasn’t (I will admit) super excited about having Tommy. Not because I was unwilling to help, but because small classroom pets aren’t my favorite. I don’t think any of the other kids ever brought a class pet home for the weekend. A friend of mine lost the class hamster a decade ago and that possibility of repeating that disaster terrified me for years.
But Erin is the baby and sometimes being the caboose has its privileges. And I am out of excuses. And also I am tired.
Erin, sensing my hesitation on the whole thing, decided to try to sell me on the houseguest – even though she already had my yes.
“Mom,” she said, “He is a people turtle.”
A what what?
“A people turtle,” she repeated. “That means he really likes people. And new experiences. And he likes to be entertaining and make people smile.”
She paused and continued, ” you know what I mean… all the good stuff.”
And with that I watched Tommy stick his little neck out in the way that people turtles apparently do. Ready to entertain and be entertained. Ready to have new experiences. Ready to make others smile.
I guess I did know what she meant. People turtles have it figured out.
All the good stuff indeed.