Thursday, April 30, 2009

Saying Goodbye, part 1

My son's Beta fish, Emile, went off to that big fish tank in the sky. My son LOVES this fish. He helps feed him, clean the tank and thanks God for Emile in his prayers at night. But my son is only 3. How do I explain this to him?

Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I have always focused on protecting my child. I know most parents, especially Mom's, can relate to that. When your little one is in your womb you second guess everything. You stop thinking of yourself first. Now you think, "If I eat that tuna, will it hurt the baby?" Before, it was just, "Yum...tuna!" EVERYTHING you do, is to protect your child. I even remember while I was pregnant being in a situation that may not have been the safest place for a woman 7 months pregnant and specifically thinking, "Protect the baby! Protect the baby!" It wasn't just a thought, it was a loud voice telling me this. I removed myself from the situation immediately. I have always been like a Mama lion, protecting my baby! I would even keep my arms wrapped around my belly and "hug" Nicholas all the time.

Now he's 3 (almost 4) and his little fish that he loves has died. My first reaction was to protect him. I don't want my son to be sad or hurt. Just buy another fish that looks like Emile and hope that Nicholas doesn't notice. But my son is smart, I know he will notice. I could tell him Emile changed colors, like a chameleon, but that would be lying. I can't lie to my child. I can't lie, period. I just can't live with myself, especially as a Christian. I know better. I was also worried that I would be sending the wrong message to Nicholas. I don't want him to think that things we love are so easy to replace. So I prayed on it and decided to tell him.

He doesn't know yet, I plan on telling him after I pick him up from school. I don't know what his reaction will be and didn't want him to be upset at school. I will explain to him, in simple terms what happened. I will explain that Emile is in Heaven with Jesus. I will explain that it's okay to be upset and to miss Emile. Then I will let him talk and hear what he has to say and how he feels. If he wants to get another fish, I will let him, but only after explaining that the new fish does not, in any way, replace Emile, we will still miss him. I want to make sure he understands that the new guy is not a new Emile.

I'll let you know how it goes in part 2 of this blog! Wish me luck!

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