Saturday, June 14, 2008

Smart Habit Saturday

Okay, so. This week we actually did pretty bad on school time. Last week, we attacked the Letter E with hithertofore unknown vigor and polish. Tot is now a total master at the Letter E. In fact, this week she pointed them out everywhere. On the road signs, in books, on shirts, everywhere. I was pretty impressed with myself (because you know it's all about me) and my mad crazy teaching skillz. And then I stopped.

You see, we had a week. You know the kind, where everything goes wrong, pets get sick, kids get cranky, and someone actually dies. And so, school was put on the back burner. I guess technically we had school, it was just more of the life lesson kind than the scheduled Letter F time. Tot learned about sick pets and that vets are doctors for animals. She learned that Mommy cries when she cuts or burns herself on accident once a day for four days straight, and she learned about death and heaven, the former of which I felt completely unprepared to talk about.

My great, great grandmother passed away last Friday. While not unexpected, it was still very hard to know we wouldn't get to hear her say "Well, I declare!" again and equally hard to explain to Tot why we would not be visiting her anymore. She really enjoyed our visits, and while they haven't been as frequent lately, Tot definitely didn't understand why she wouldn't be there from now on. I tried to explain that while Tot is only three, Grandmother (what we call her) was almost 95 and that her body was very tired and that she just wanted to go to heaven. Tot knows all about heaven and so she thought that was pretty understandable. She asked if Grandmother would see Jesus and I told her yes. She asked about her husband (which was unusual since he passed many, many years ago) and asked if he was already there. I told her yes, and she seemed pleased.

When she saw my Mom's family crying, she asked why everyone was so sad. I said that while it's awesome that she gets to go to Heaven, we will still miss her here. I told her that Grandmother was Nana's (my mom) Nana. That might have been a misstep (like it was my first) and she got a little freaked out that it was Nana that had died and started to cry a whole lot. I quickly backed up and said that it wasn't Nana and she calmed down. But then that opened up the whole younger people die too can of worms and I was complete up a creek on that one. I went with the total truth route, and said that sometimes young people die, but that it wasn't something to be scared of because if you believe in God and obey his Word then you'll be in Heaven and it will be the best thing ever. I told her that dying wasn't anything to be scared of and that it wasn't a sad thing.

It's hard to be so frank with a child and you always think that you're giving them too much information. I guess I just didn't want her to grow up terrified of death and thinking it was this horrible, scary thing, you know? It happens to everyone at some point, and while I won't pretend to be immune to the sadness, I would like Tot to have a better acceptance of it than I do. What better way than to get there together?

So, in short (which is what I had thought this blog would be, but apparently I got a little wordy and sentimental), we didn't have school at home this week, but we most certainly learned a lot.

Aside: On a funnier note, she also learned that it is inappropriate to call out at a funeral that you can smell pancakes.


Diana Richards said...

What a week! I would definitely say you have had some teachable moments this week! Here's to a calmer, more lesson-plan-oriented week, next week!

Nicole McIntyre said...

Pancakes? Seriously? That kid of yours cracks me up!

So here I am sort of tearing up about what a great job you did handling a tough, painfull subject and I read the pankcakes line.

Tiffany said...

Lots of love and prayers going out to you. And I say "Pancake away, Tot! Everyone needs a rason to smile -- especially at a funeral!"