In Strip's class, every week they have a letter they work on, and show-and-tell is encouraged to incorporate the letter into the item. This week is G week. She is in the day 2 rotation for show-and-tell meaning that one group goes the day before her. Because I'm a meanie, I encourage her to pick out her showing thing before she goes to school on day one. This way, she doesn't just come home and think, "Oh, Suzie brought a Book, I'll bring a book, too." ::obviously, this is HER show-and-tell, so the choice is up to her, I just want her to think about it before she's flooded with what everybody else is doing.
Anyway, this week is G week, so we spent earlier this week gathering everything G from around the house: green, gorilla, giraffe, goat, games, etc. Today was her day, so we were gazing (oh look! I used a g word!) at our G buffet, trying to narrow it down. She looked over everything and said she just couldn't decide. Then she looked down at her little stuffed June Bug dog she's been sleeping with since Saturday and said
Strip: Giraffe...giant...June... Does June start with a G or a J?
Me: It's a J. seeing her little heart sink June BuG.
Strip: But it ends with a G!
Me: Yup! And she's a doG..
Strip: Dog ends in G, too!!
Me: Yeah! And I got it when Daddy and I got enGaGed...
Strip: I...think that has a G?
Me: Sure does!
So June Bug got to go to G week!
Meanwhile, Nugget and I headed to story time to work on being a real boy. We got there early and I wanted to try to find a book on dealing with a pet's death for the kids. I grabbed the little stack of pet grief and started to flip through them. RIGHT in the middle of the stack was a little paper back book called, "We were supposed to get a baby, but we got an angel instead" with a picture of a little boy looking into an empty cradle. How's that for putting things in perspective?! Geeze!
First up was a sweet, adorably illustrated book with a black and white dog. Yay! But I start flipping through it, and it focuses a lot on how the little girl lived with the dog, the dog got old, then got sick and died. Well, June kind of skipped a couple of steps in there, so that one was out (plus, at the end of the book, the little girl plants a tree over the dogs grave and she and her new puppy play under the tree and remember the other dog. Problems? It's 19* and I can't go plant a tree right now, it insinuates that we will get a new dog and they bury the dog and June Bug is being cremated. Too many conflicts for me).
Moving on. The next one focus more on the dog's death, but then has the little (cartoon) kid coming home to the dead dog, and mom and kid petting the dead dog, and Nugget is already having nightmares, I see no need to add fuel to the fire. Next!
Third was a Mr. Rogers book. Who doesn't love that man? Great little book on dealing with grief, but we could use some updates in the visual. It was very antique. Plus, it talked about "sometimes you may feel angry and want to hit or break things, and that's ok." No need to put that in their heads.
Leaning toward Mr. Rogers, I left empty handed planning to hit the library tomorrow after an amazon search. When I pulled up, I noticed a little package on the front porch. I opened the little package to find this book:
I think the alternate title for this book is "Perfection."
My cousin read my mind, found this book and popped it in the mail for
me the kids and it was exactly what I was looking for. I would type the entire book out for you, but Strip is sleeping with it, so you'll have to trust me. It made me tear up all 11 times we read it today and both kids seemed to really understand it. One part even talks about how dogs can sometimes miss their owners, so an angel will walk them back to earth. They will be invisible, but they can check on their owners, sniff out the cat next door or just sit on the front porch waiting for the mail to come. Then when they are satisfied, the angel will walk them back to heaven. It also talks about how the dogs can hang in dog heaven as long as they want, so they will be there waiting when a familiar face appears. Just a sweet little book that explores what dog heaven is like without being depressing.
As I told a friend who asked how we were doing, every day gets a little easier and a little harder. Easier because it's one day longer we've had to accept it and grieve, but harder because there's always a little reminder I find. Strip heard me talking and could tell I was sad, so she grabbed my hand and said, "It's ok, Mommy. It's ok." Love my little rock.