Tuesday, August 19, 2008

inside the three-year-old mind

As I tucked the children in to bed last night and said an evening prayer, I added a few words for Molly about how much we loved her and how happy we were that she had come to live with us. Just before I turned out the light, Elizabeth asked, "Mama, where's Molly?"

Six little eyes were on me, while I tried to find the words to help them understand.

I took a deep breath before replying, "Molly went to live with God. She isn't here anymore, but if you close your eyes, you can always see her. Let's try it. Close your eyes and look, there's Molly! I see her! Hey girl!! She just had a bath and she is nice and clean! Molly, we are so happy to see you! Can you guys see her and hear her collar making that jangle sound?"

It took a moment before William exclaimed, "YES! I see her! Hi Molly! Hi Molly!"

And then Carolyn chimed in, "Molly! Molly! Do you wanta haf a cookie?"

I added, "It's important that you know, just because Molly isn't living with us at our house anymore, she will always be in our hearts. So whenever you miss her and want to see her, just close your eyes and remember. Molly is a very lucky dog to have lived here with all of you, and now, she is a very lucky dog to be living with God."

Elizabeth opened her tightly closed eyes and said, "Mama, God need to wemember to give Molly water and take her for walks."

I smiled and replied, "I'm sure God will remember, love."

Carolyn then sat up straight in bed and declared, "I don't want to gwow up. I want to stay wittle." I bent down to kiss her forehead and replied "Everybody grows up. But that's a good thing because then, you can help me cook!"

This made everyone happy and in unison, they shouted "I love to cook!!"

There was a moment of silence where we were lost in our thoughts about Molly and the future of growing up, before William said, "I am a super hero and I have an elephant named Carly. If you close your eyes, you can see her. Hi Carly! Hi! It's me, William! Do you want to help me make some muffins?"


  1. See, I know you're gonna miss these days! Is it too late to cancel Montessori?

  2. You are going to be so glad you have a record of all these wonderful converations! What a great story!

  3. Oh my gosh!! I cried at this entry! I'm such a wimp, but you have such a tender family! And I miss my dog!

  4. Why oh why is your talent not in book form? You are so gifted in expressing yourself--so now what? Follow your passion.
    Very well written and said.I believe your answer is a great one for anyone suffering a loss--about as good as "Freddie the leaf".

  5. Such a great mom you are. What a precious conversation.

  6. How do you think so well and so quickly? That was beautiful! Love, Sue

  7. So cute! Out of the mouth's of babes! So sorry for your loss.

  8. Gasping gulps, you are an amazing mom Jen!

  9. You are so talented Jen. Doubleday would love to hear from you.

    Anne Marie

  10. sniff! you are doing an amazing job!

  11. I love the elephant named Carlie! Hilarious.

    I believe I saw the same elephant up at Sequoia last week. (Rock formation)

    So sorry about your dog, Molly McButter.

    I was with my Hazel when she was euthanized and I know how that rips your heart out. But cancer was riddling her with pain. I had to think of what was best for her. I agree about the quality vs. quantity.

  12. cried and cried at the last post, you love your animals but its so sad when they are gone especially when its an end of an era. Of course we keep getting more. Kids ar the greatest you have to love the things they say and how they see things. Love your blog.

  13. I know it has to be hard not having Molly there. Your kids are lucky to have such a great mom that teaches them that love lives forever in our hearts.

  14. So sweet and too funny! Your kids are just adorable.

    Last night the neighbor girl was asking where our other cat went. I was trying to be sensitive because I didn't know how to explain it to a 3 year old. I was telling her that he got old and sick so he went to heaven. She kept asking questions and was sort of confused. Finally her mom just said, "Sweetie, the kitty died." Little girl just looked at me and said, "Oh, why didn't you just say that!" Cracked me up!

    Still so sorry to hear about your dog. I know she'll be missed.

    Triplet Mom in MN

  15. This brought me to tears!

  16. How sweet! Quick thinking on your part. Keri won a goldfish from the fair. She named her Princess. Princess died after a few days, and Keri cried like that fish had been a part of the family for years. It was really sad.

  17. oh so sweet

    My heart's in my throat.

    Great thinking on your part, you did a great job explaining to the kids!

  18. Lovely, I was crying until I read what your son said, then I broke my ass laughing. Kids are great. Sorry for your loss.