Today was a busy day. Princess Sack of Potatoes wanted to play Dead Pile, and later on, The Angry Polar Bear. The latter is a very taxing business where I chase her around the house growling and trying to carry her away to the “Ice Flow of Death.” All that growling takes its toll on my larynx and the dogs go nuts trying to defend her from this seemingly homicidal activity of mine. But one does what must be done.
As you can tell by the descriptions, death has become a part of her imagination. Of course, all those who end up in the dead pile are the bad animals, never the good ones. And the Ice Flow of Death has only ever been fatal for the polar bear and even then, he always seems to be brought back for an encore. It’s funny how little kids imagine things for which they have very little experience. Other than a hermit crab, her little world has been untouched by death. At least as far as she is aware. She’ll be spared knowledge of actual deaths that have occurred while she was too young to even understand the concept.
Of late Camera Girl has introduced the concept of dog heaven to cover the eventuality of what to tell her when our older dog does die. And she is very curious about it, “Will Kaylee have anyone to play with? Will she get her favorite treats?” All these were manageable reactions. But then she asked about herself going to heaven. That was a bridge too far. We assured her that she wouldn’t be going anywhere for a long, long, long time and she should stop thinking such things.
And that passed. Now we’re back to the cheerful mayhem of dead pile where bad velociraptor and evil giraffe get their comeuppance but never is heard a discouraging word. She has introduced some innovations that may be a form of humane treatment or possibly just safety precautions. Now before any of the bad animals are hurled onto the dead pile, they are first “put to sleep.” This sounds suspiciously like pet euthanasia. I hesitate to ask where she got this idea. Maybe one of her friends had a dog or cat that had to be “put to sleep.” But we’ll let it slide for now. Dead pile has been wildly popular but I think the first waning has begun.
And just in time. It’s rather repetitive. And it’s time for the princess to begin to read. We’ll start with the ats (at, bat, cat, fat, skip gat, hat, mat, gnat, pat, sat, forget tat and finish with vat). And then we’ll do a few more families and it’ll be on to Dr. Seuss. We’ve got to hurry because before you know it it’ll be September and she’ll be off to kindergarten. And then she’ll be too old for The Angry Polar Bear and too sophisticated for her old pastimes.
Well, that’s the way it should be. Her world is opening up. School and friends and all the joys and sorrows of childhood. And I have to wonder if she’ll remember all our games and play. She is a very intelligent child. Maybe her memories will last. I hope so. I feel that my existence is bound up in the memories of those who are close to me. My children and grandchildren will be the extension of my impact on this world, just as I passed on the existence of my parents and grandparents to them.
It’s a great privilege to get to interact with your descendants. You can see their traits and sometimes recognize yours and your spouse’s. You can tell them stories and things about themselves and about their parents and you can share things that you enjoyed when you were young. Yes, it’s a rare treat. It’s the payoff for all the hard work you did raising your own kids.
Well, it was a good day. Busy but good.