We just returned from spending several days visiting with family. It was a wonderful visit and I so appreciated the time with people we love (and away from the craziness). When we came home, however, we sadly found that Georgie the Fish had passed away while we were gone. I first noticed the smell and quickly realized that Georgie was (quite literally) belly up in his bowl. I called the kid over to me and explained to him that Georgie had died. Here's how the conversation went:
Me: Baby, Georgie has died. I'm so sorry.
Kid: Momma, what happened to him?
Me: I'm not sure.
Kid: Poppa, Georgie died.
Hubby: Okay. Uh, I'm sorry. (takes fish and starts to flush it down the toilet)
Me: Uh, wait a minute. Can we process this first, please.
Hubby: Uh...oh, okay.
Me: Baby, how are you feeling?
Kid: I'm sad that Georgie died. Momma, you know Georgie really liked it when it rained. He really liked to jump, especially when it rained. He was a good jumper. Momma, we shouldn't have left him to go on vacation. We shouldn't have left him alone 'cause that's when he died.
(Hubby flushes Georgie down toilet)
Kid: Momma, is Georgie going to heaven?
Me: I think so, but what do you think?
Kid:Yeah, I think so, too.
Kid: Momma, can I ask you something?
Me: Sure, baby. You can ask me anything. What is it?
Kid: Is Georgie in heaven now?
Me: I think so, what do you think.
Kid: Actually, I think he's still in the toilet.
Me: No, he's not there. Poppa flushed it. He's not in the toilet anymore.
Kid: Oh, good. 'Cause I have to pee and I don't want to pee on him. That would be rude. But, Momma, is he in ocean heaven now?
Me: Yeah, I think so. I think that's a good place for a fish.
Kid: Is he with his fish family? 'Cause we were his people family and we loved him. He was a good fish and we were his good family. But maybe now he's back with his fish family because they love him, too.
Me: (hugs the kid tight, without words for once in my life)
Today's lesson - kids understand a lot more than we give them credit for. They're also empathetic, both of which are attributes we really need to nurture. I think intuition and empathy are necessary for our kids to have in order for them to have a better world than the one we have now. Lets work on it together.
A Fathers Day Ode; To My Mother
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