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The Daughter's Solution To Death

It’s been a few months since my daughter’s had to deal with death.

A few months ago my son’s hamster “Teddy” took a dirty-nap a mere two months after this ordeal. We honestly didn’t think he’d live two days after that.

But then, this past Monday, she found a tiny little caterpillar. She immediately sprung into action and located a small cup to put it in. She then frantically searched for the perfect leaf for it to munch on.

Next, a toy! It needed a toy. Carefully placing an oversized piece of mulch into the cup she was satisfied until she realized she had nothing to call it!

“Ted! I’m gonna name him Ted,” she declared suddenly.

And “Ted” he became.

For the next 90 minutes Ted and my dear sweet innocent daughter were inseparable. She sat with Ted. She talked to Ted.

She gleefully encouraged Ted to make his first heroic climb up the Mt. Everest of bark mulch.

She even laughed hysterically when she finally found Ted hiding under a leaf, camouflaged and clearly playing a trick on her.

Then, it came time for school and she had to leave Ted behind. After kissing his habitat goodbye she skipped off to get her learnin’ on.

I went about my regular working from home day.

Three hours later, the kids burst into the door with the daughter leading the pack eager to show off her new friend.

And that’s when it happened.

Upon throwing open the back sliding door she screamed, “TED!!!!”

The cup had been blown over and rolled off the deck into the grass. The leaf and mulch piece were there.

Ted……was not.

She was absolutely crushed. After the entire family searched for what seemed like hours we declared Ted alive and well but back with nature again.

Secretly we knew damn well when he landed in the grass, he bumped his chest two times to the lord above and crawled his ass far far away from here.

“Ted always knew how to make me laugh mommy,” the daughter recalled shortly after through her steady flow of tears.

Three days later (yesterday) the neighborhood was alive with the sounds of joyful children when all of a sudden one yells, “a dead bird!”

My daughter’s ears perk-up and she immediately hauls-ass to the spot where a tiny, baby bird had fallen from his perch and landed head-first onto the sidewalk.

Only, it wasn’t dead. It was barely breathing as it laid there slowly dying.

The daughter immediately starts searching for a box to place it in. Crying hysterically asking for help because “I want to save it!!”

If only life were simple enough to where a box, small sample of nourishment and oversized play thing would make everything spring back to a joyous life filled with double rainbows all the way!

The wife stepped-up, hugged the little darling tightly and helped her unwillingly understand the bird was doomed.

The bird would die.

Seeing my innocent little angel learn one of life’s hardest lessons yet again was painfully difficult.

I was humbled at the way the wife made the parenting side of it look so damn easy. I was a complete waste of space during the entire thing just watching as if I were a moth on a wall.

Forty-five minutes later she was eating pizza and riding her bike up and down the block.

Ted nor the dying hairless baby bird that never had a chance were even a blip on her radar anymore.

I long for the days where the only things that concerned me could fit inside a small little container. And, once they fell out of that container, they just weren’t important anymore.

When did life get so complicated?


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Reader Comments (9)

Thumbs up.
Don't have much else to add, but I enjoyed the post.

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDadgineer

Kids really don't realize how good they have it sometimes . . . I wonder at what stage we actually start fretting, allowing those things that escaped the container to continue to trail after us.

I blame puberty.

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Nice post. Someone one told me, on an airplane, why I have gray hair. It's because I worry, he said. He pointed to his own silver hair. Life gets complicated, but I think it doesn't have to get as complicated as we make it. Kids know how to live simply.

I wrote a post a few weeks ago, a little like this except the animals survive :) It's called Deadly Beasts, Cannibals, Empathy, and Enlightenment

You have a pleasant writing style!

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlex | Perfect Dad

I'm sorry for your daughters losses.

But I seriously laughed a good couple minutes when you said ted did a couple of chest bumps to God. I woke the dog up I was laughing so hard...mainly cause I got a visual of it, lol.

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Nicely written.

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLady of the House

Sadly, NHL has known about death since his great-grandpa died just over four years ago. He's expressed fear of dying and talks about death much more than a child should ever since then. When his brother had a febrile seizure in front of him and we thought he was choking, he helped guide the rescue personell in to the house. Then, showing how a child's brain copes with life and death matters, complained that he couldn't see the TV because there were too many people in the room... Then cried that he'd miss Sunday school. Better to focus on the small problems than the big one.

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTechyDad

Life is still simple- your container just got big enough to include your family.

Our son has had to face death over and over again with his dad, my husband. Cancer surgery has rearranged his body several times in very visible and undeniable ways. Through it all the Boy is brave, and stoic, and heartbreakingly empathetic not only with his dad, but the smallest of Creation's creatures.

May 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersheri

"Secretly we knew damn well when he landed in the grass, he bumped his chest two times to the lord above and crawled his ass far far away from here."

That made me laugh out loud.

I wish my life were filled with double rainbows.

May 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStacey

That's when I say that knowledge is NOT power. Because the more you know the more you realize that it's not so simple anymore.

May 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

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