Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Death of a Pet

On our way out the door to school, Tommy walked as usual up to his bunny's cage to check in on him before we headed off to school. "Mom, is Bounce sleeping?" he asked. I went up to the cage and realized that Bounce was laying on his side and not bouncing to greet us as he usually did. Not really realizing something was amiss, I poked at Bounce with my finger. Sure enough, he was a bit on the stiff side, but I thought maybe I was mistaken. Surely he wasn't dead. I had stroked his ears and checked his food and water late the night before and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I hurried Tommy to the car with a "he's just sleeping in this morning, Tommy," and headed back inside to tell John something was up with Bounce. With tears in my eyes, I told John that I probably was wrong, but maybe Bounce was dead.
Sure enough, John called me later at work, announcing Bounce was stiff and cold. I cried in my office, partly out of sadness for Bounce, but mostly at the pain this info would cause to our little boy. What should I tell him? Should we have some sort of "funeral/burial or just quietly move along and not draw it out? Should we let him lead, or should we bring him along for the ride? Questions all day long. However, I did know that I wanted to wait until after our afternoon of pumpkin hunting was over before breaking the news.
Turns out we ended up letting Thomas lead this one. At pick up after school, Mrs. Batten told me that Tommy had been tearful on and off throughout the day worried about his bunny. I gave her the "slash across the throat" sign, and she sighed. "Let me know how it goes," she said. Tommy was bound and determined to go see his bunny, so once in the car I told him that Bounce wasn't just sick, but that he had died. I watched his face change as understanding dawned. I watched him physically crumple in his seat, his face in his hands as he started to sob. Thankfully, Madeline and Isaac were there to prop him up, and stories of death and dying filled the car. "My hamster only lived 3 months, Tommy, so this is nothing," Madeline assured him. "At least you got Bounce for a whole year, " Isaac pointed out. "Our fish died and we flushed him," Madeline pointed out. "Good thing Bounce is too big to flush," they agreed. "Do you think Bounce is up in Heaven?" he asked. "Yes, Tommy," I lied. It isn't the first and won't be the last "lie" I tell, I bet. Apparently, or so I'm told, good theology doesn't stand up to my "all animals go to Heaven" mantra that I've told myself since childhood. I will believe it anyway, and give my children some peace in believing that they will see their animals. I think it will be the least of their worries once up in Heaven anyway.
Once back at home, Tommy carefully planned out the burial. He picked up and cuddled Bounce's stiff body, his ears flopping around as Tommy bounced him around in his arms. I cringed a bunch with the sight. He wrote a short little love note and picked flowers. He made sure Bounce was safe in the box, and asked to be the one to carry him up to the burial site we'd picked out. He went to the shop and found two big crosses that he'd been working on. It was incredibly touching how sincere and thoughtful he was in taking care of his little Bounce. Once we were all gathered around the site, Tommy had a bit of trouble putting the box down in the hole. He picked it up a couple times, making sure that the tape was extra secure. He wanted to make sure no dirt got down in the box to mess with Bounce's beautiful white fur. Tommy said a few nice things about his bunny, Bounce, then started to sob. Even as he sobbed and wiped at his nose and eyes, he continued to talk about his bunny. John asked if he wanted him to pray, and John then said a short little prayer. He was so strong and so brave, even as I knew how much it was hurting him. Finally, John covered the grave up and we headed back down to the house. I couldn't keep my tears in check watching Tommy sob and sob over the grave. It was an emotional day for us all.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

A 36 year repeat

I turned 36 years old...again. My mother called me the other day, and said she couldn't believe her little girl was turning 36. "Mom, stop it. I'm going to be 37."
"I think I know the age of my own daughter," she said, a bit of huff in her voice.

I had to pause. Really? I was 36 all year. I signed it when asked at the doctor's office. I mentioned it when asked. Truly, I've been 36 all year.

I AM 36!

"Do the math, Cynthia," she demanded. "Am I doing the math right?" Now we were both wondering, and my heart was thudding. I just filled out paperwork at the gym I'm now working out in. I put down 36. The trainer put 36 years old in her computer system. Surely I'm 36, right?

Nope, apparently not. If you subtract 1975 from 2011, you indeed end up with 36.

WHO does this, you ask? Who could possibly make this kind of goof?

Me, apparently.

And so, with that, I am 36 years old.....again.
Untitled by whippski
Untitled, a photo by whippski on Flickr.

Flag Football

Untitled by whippski
Untitled, a photo by whippski on Flickr.