If there's one thing pets are good for, it's teaching kids about life and death.
Except I think I'm taking the lesson harder than they are.
We lost one of our ducks this past weekend, probably to a dog. Brown-Eyed Boy had named him Paper. He happened to be the favorite duck, the outgoing, silly one, the one that Brown-Eyed Boy was referring to when he told me multiple times, "I just love him too much, Mommy."
Brown-Eyed Boy was crushed when I told him, of course. He cried in my arms and then said a prayer that Paper would come back. Then he got distracted playing with his cousin. I was the one who spent half the morning sobbing.
Pregnancy hormones, I tell you.
We buried Paper the next morning. Brown-Eyed Boy watched for a moment as dirt piled up over Paper's once-shiny black feathers, then slowly walked away, head hanging down.
"Are you ok?" I called after him.
"I am just sad," he replied, not looking at me.
Mr. Brown Eyes and I exchanged sad looks, then we heard Brown-Eyed Boy call from the front porch, "Mommy! I want an icee!"
Children are so resilient.
Mr. Brown Eyes caught me staring off into space last night, and laughed when I told him I was thinking about Paper.
We all miss Paper, though. It's not the same walking outside and not seeing him waddle-running toward us, webbed feet slapping against the sidewalk. I miss watching him and Fluffy splashing in their kiddie pool or in the irrigation in our yard. I even miss yelling at Brown-Eyed Boy to stop chasing him.
To which he would always tell me, "I just love Paper too much, Mommy."
I guess I did, too.
Mama Duck Minus One Baby Duck,
The Brown-Eyed Girl