Monday, January 29, 2007

A Preschooler's Sorrow


He was trying to wake me.


It took several reiterations.

"Huh? What? Oh. Hi, Sweetie. What is it?"

"Mommy, I'm sad about the ducks."

Three months ago we moved our son away from an apartment complex with several large ponds and about a hundred ducks. When we first got there he told me, "I want to live here forEVER!"

But it was 800 square feet, and forever was OUT of the question.

How does a near-4-year-old express sorrow or grief?

"And, I'm sad about the lake with all the apartments around it."

"I'm sorry, Sweetheart. Why don't we try to find a pond or lake this week where we will be allowed to feed ducks? Would that be OK with you?"

"Yeah..." his voice trailed off sadly. I could tell he was on the edge of crying. His face looked quite sad. "OK. But I'm sad about the ducks."

"I understand. It was fun having those ducks around. You know what I'm sad about?"


"Shadow. I am sad about Shadow."

"Me, too."

"But, remember, Sweetie, Shadow snapped at you twice, so we have to be happy for him that he has a new home. But I do miss him. I know it's difficult when things change. I hope we can get you another dog some time. I just heard that Nicholas & Alex got a new little puppy!"

"A little puppy?"


"A really little puppy?"

"Yes, he is very small. I hope some day we can get a puppy, too. Then we can teach him not to bite, and how to go potty outside..."

"Not on the pillows, or the floor, or on my cars..."

He is exaggerating with the cars, now, but he's starting to laugh, which is a good thing. And he keeps making up other places a dog might be able to pee. Oh, raising a boy! I have to learn to laugh at gross jokes, find humor in the ridiculously silly, and enjoy it. I'm improving!

But, what I really miss more than ducks, the pond or our dog is my grandpa. A lot. I keep hearing his voice and this regular dialogue we shared:


"Hi Grandpa, it's Lisa," I would say when he picked up the phone.

"Well, it sounds like Lisa!"

"And that's because it is!"

"How are you, Sweetie?"

I miss my grandpa most of all.

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