Conversations about life and death are never easy when you are dealing with a four-year-old. But, sometimes they are necessary. Like when a pet dies.
I always thought Emily loved her long-haired guinea pig named Shirley. Or maybe I was just assuming because how can you not love a GP, right?
Well, when Shirley's life came to an end, Emily had a lot of questions. I responded in a similar manner to when I explained where our dog, Baxter had gone. I told her that Shirley went to the farm. But, here's the thing...Emily was an entire year younger when Baxter passed, which means a huge difference in her tender little life. Every now and then she'd ask if Baxter was having fun on the farm, and the conversation was over. But, with Shirley...she wanted details.
And...she wanted to see the body.
You're probably going to think I'm a horrible mother...but I showed her. I showed her the dead body of Shirley. I felt that it was the only way that she would understand that Shirley was there but she wasn't there at the same time.
I prepared to embrace my sweet little Emily with open arms, certain that she would melt into a fit of sobs when she saw her unmoving guinea pig.
But, quite the opposite happened.
Instead, she laughed. She laughed hysterically at the dead pig.
I'm not sure why and I didn't really ask. Maybe she was nervous or maybe she is an extremely morbid child and found humor in the fact that the pig that she had been cuddling with the day before was now dead.
Anyways, months go by and the conversation of life and death comes up again. Out of the blue, in the format that most four-year-olds bring things up, Emily told me that animals die normally but the only way that people die is to get run over by a car and then they go to "Kevin's."
Now, I'm pretty positive there are no little boys named Kevin at her school, so I'm gonna jump to the conclusion that Kevin means, "heaven."
So, while she may be a tad morbid and has me worried about getting run over by a car...at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I'll get to go to Kevin's. ;)