Monday, July 26, 2004

death and diving

S has been obsessed with death for the past month or so. I think it started with Finding Nemo, when Nemo's mother dies. There's no mourning as far as Nemo goes, since he's just a bitty piece of caviar at the point when his mom is presumably eaten by the barricuda, but after watching the DVD a few times, S turned to me and asked the inevitable.

"Where's Nemo's mommy?"

I knew that S had a pretty good idea, but given that we really do have to fast forward past the scary parts, and this includes the barricuda attack, I asked him what he thought happened to Nemo's mom.

"She got eaten by the barricuda so I guess she dived."

B and I looked at each other and grinned, but we didn't have the heart to correct him. I mean, why should he, just four years old, have to deal with the realities of death just yet if he didn't have to?

Then about a week later, S got stung by a bee at the park and the darn thing just died in his palm. He and his friend, Claire, had been playing in the bushes, and I guess they discovered a bee hive because within seconds, they were both shrieking. We couldn't figure out what happened at first because they were just standing there howling, but not fighting. S screamed bloody murder because it hurt, but later he also said he was trying to wake up the bee. I tried to explain that sometimes bees die when they sting you, thus launching us into the talk about death.

"So when will the bee wake up?"
"Does everyone die?"
"Will you die?"
and then...
"Will I die?"

Death creeps me out, too, but I assumed the all-knowing, all-calming mother voice, which apparently I have not perfected. The drive home consisted of our little boy crying pathetically from his carseat, "I don't want to die, I don't want to die..." while nothing we said could console him.

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