Plants are the new pets.

I miss our pets. A lot. More than I ever imagined, actually. And I have a pretty darn good imagination. Bertram, Agatha, and Madeline simply cannot be replaced. I've thought about getting birds again--they were my first love. Christina and I adore lizards, and I've been curious about bearded dragons. Fish are an "easy" pet, and I've even gone so far as to consider Sea Monkeys. But all of these, including itty-bitty Sea Monkeys, do require regular care and feeding.

With the loss of our pets--the only bright side--comes a sort of freedom, both in time and money. (I feel guilty even thinking of that!) We can now, for the first time in our marriage, just pick up and go wherever our hearts desire. We don't need to arrange pet sitters or pay an arm and a leg for boarding. And with the money we'll save on vet bills, we can easily take a modest trip a few times a year.

But my paternal instincts are still in high gear, even as I mourn each of our pets. (Let's face it: despite what everyone says, it's not going to get better.) So whom can I care for now?

Plants. But not just any plants. I must focus on low maintenance plants, plants that can go without water for a week at a time. No, I'm not talking about succulents or cactus. I'm talking about air plants. They're properly known as Tillandsia, and there are about 650 species. You can watch my growing family of air plants here, or get the cold, hard facts here.