I had to do a rough mom job last weekend. Livie’s anole died: she got two anoles at the Renaissance Faire in October, and the male died pretty fast, the female just died last week. Of course, it happened while she was away at camp. We had gotten her another male, because anoles shouldn’t be alone. I sat her in bed with me and told her what happened, reassured her she did nothing wrong, told her how good she’s done taking care of them, and then I just shut up. I let her cry, I listened to her cry, and I squeezed her tight. I think sometimes we crush our kids with the best of intentions. No one wants their kid to hurt or cry, but both are natural parts of life. We come into the world crying, and every mother knows labor is neither free of hurt or tears. It’s just part of life. Sometimes, I think the hardest thing is to let our kids hurt, let them feel pain, and show them how to cope. The best way to do that is to let them see you cope, I think. Be honest with your own emotions at a level they understand, and talk about how you get through tough times.
This time, I just shut up. There’s no words that take away the pain of a lost pet, and what she needed was to cry, and was to just be nuzzled by me. She started smiling again pretty quickly.
She went to get anoles this weekend, because now Pete can’t be alone. I suggested she name her new anole sparkle, so she can always remember the fun she had at sparkle camp, even if she came home to a sad thing. I told her this is how life works, and the best way to stay happy is to always make the bad as good as it can be. Even though you will miss majesty, you can be thankful for her and the memories you had, as you make new memories with sparkle and princess. (Apparently more females are better for the male. They like “harems”… lizards man who knew! 🦎)
When she was happy, I explained the yin yang to her again. There is always good inside the bad, and bad inside the good. ☯️