Uncle Jim & Aunt Irene visited us last month and the little munchkin was just really happy spending time with them. A few weeks before they arrived, he had started mentioning and asking about his Daddy in more frequency. I’m always unprepared whenever he mentions Steve.
It’s not that I don’t want the little one to mention and ask for his Dad. It’s actually great that he still remembers him. It’s just that what I’m concerned about is my reaction to his questions. Most of the time I don’t have any answer at all and all I can do is just hug him. Also, it’s the longing in his voice that I hear that really rubs it in. It’s like he’s expressing what I’m feeling inside that I’m trying to quell because sometimes, I have to.
A few weeks ago, I borrowed the Disney animated film, “Dinosaur” from the office library for our weekend movie marathon because the little munchkin is crazy these days about dinosaurs. I won’t be surprised if he turned out to be a paleontologist someday. He can actually tell me their names or the different types of dinosaurs which is kinda cute. There was one scene which is almost at the end of the movie where the tyrannosaurus rex fell and died. It was the villain in the movie but the little munchkin was so upset with that part of the story and started crying. I was able to calm him down. I was thinking, is this the best time to talk about death? I mean, he’s barely three years old. In the end, I just distracted him with his dinosaur toys.
The next day while the little munchkin was playing with his “dinosaurs,” out of the blue he asked me: “Mommy, can a dinosaur die?” I was thinking, does he know what he’s talking about? I asked him, “Who said that a dinosaur can die, honey?” He said something that I can’t understand which is normal for a 2 year old but he kept repeating the question again and again.
My mind just blanked out. I was trying to find the words which would minimize the blow that I was perceiving it might have on him. So, I told him the truth. “Yes, honey. A dinosaur can die.” And then, he just continued playing with his dinosaurs again.