~"Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome"~Isaac Asimov
Death is a tricky subject with my kids. It isn't that it's difficult..more that it is hard to explain..They all have such unique perspectives on it. When Sam was little, he came to me claiming that "when people die they get to be come back as something else." I thought that this was pretty cool considering he wasn't much older than three. Lily on the other hand-is very anxious over the idea of it. Three years ago, my sister and father passed away within six weeks of each other. .(The kids hardly knew their Grandfather and they did not know their Aunt.) It was a difficult time for me-and,because of that, it was a difficult time for my kids as well Lily was a mess. Crying all the time..having trouble sleeping..I thought that maybe she was worried about MY mortality...So, during one of her crying jags..I pulled her onto my lap..rocking her until she calmed down enough to talk.."Lil? You know your Aunt was pretty sick..and Pop?..he was 86!" "I know." "Well...for them..death was a good thing..or an o.k. thing. your Aunt was in a lot of pain and she wasn't gonna get better..and Pop..he lived a really full life." "I KNOW!" "Well..I just wanted you to think about that..I mean, I'm healthy..and I'm nowhere near 86." "So." "So..I just wanted you to know that I don't plan on dying for a long time.""O.k?.".."So I don't want you to worry about me or Papa going anywhere for a long long time..o.k.?" "But...but..I'm not worried about YOU dying! I'm worried about...(bawling) ME!" *sigh* so, after reassuring her that she had very little mileage and was in the best of health..that her demise was so very far into the future..she was fine. Fine. No more anxiety..no more crying..she was good to go.
I admit, it is a tough subject to tackle with kids. One of the ways we have discussed it-is through religion. We try and teach our kids a bit of everything. They know about Jesus, Mohammed , Buddha..You name it-and we probably have discussed it. They know of the Bible, the Koran, the Torah. But the main thing we teach is respect.That faith is personal. That it is not our place to question anyone's personal beliefs. Nor was it anyone's place to question theirs( they have them).I have really drilled in the idea that they need to respect other peoples faith and points of view. They do a pretty good job of it...except...well..my kids can be literal thinkers..and it gets me in trouble.
Every summer, my town celebrates itself by throwing a festival. There are rides and food..entertainment and all kinds of booths. One of the booths is run by a local church. Now, I have nothing against this particular church..but it seems that no matter what-every single summer we have been here..I have managed to offend them in some way or other. Usually because of what my kids say-or don't say. It never fails! We'll be walking by..and someone will catch one of my kids eyes. "Do YOU KNOW Jesus?" They'll ask. (My kids have absolutely no idea of the context in which this is meant. None.) "No." they'll say-or even better "Who?"..immediately all eyes turn to me in disdain...as if I were somehow depriving my children of religious knowledge and salvation..it is very uncomfortable-for me. My kids? They don't notice..except for Sam(who I explained this to)-he thinks this is HYSTERICAL. Next year-he's taking his brother and sisters around.
I really don't like when someone thinks I'm disrespectful of their beliefs. That is the last thing I ever want to do...well..mostly. O.K...sometimes..well..I'll tell you about this week and let you decide..
Now, my town celebrates Halloween. We have a parade, trick or treating..a haunted house..food..it's fabulous. This year, in honor of the holiday-we decorated the house. We had cobwebs..and "Happy Halloween" signs..and a special display of zombies....
. I really really hope that car stops by again. I think my zombies look festive.