Kristy and I had made the decision to talk about Felix when Jack brought it up, but not until then.
Don’t know if that’s the best thing, but it’s what we chose.
Our kid is very bright, and while he didn’t talk about Felix a bit for almost two weeks, the night before we were to load up and come home from vacation, he came up to me, unsolicited and unexpectedly, and said,
“I think when we get home our cat’s going to have missed us.”
Oh, here we go.
I almost think he'd known all along and thought it was time to broach the subject we were avoiding. A little later Kristy and I sat with Jack out on the dock at the cottage, overlooking the little lake that is the daily stuff of our fishing for brim and bass and the surface on which the little RF controlled boats do battle.
“Jacky,” I said, “you know how sick Felix was, right?”
A head nod yes.
“Well, Felix died.”
“When?” he asked.
“Just before we left for vacation.”
I was thankful he didn't ask "how."
The realization that Felix was gone hit him and his reaction hit me. The reality of loss, any loss, has a particular look, and little six year old eyes hold the sadness in a way that was hard to watch. He welled up, hung his head – and then, as if on cue, and as Kristy predicted, he said, “Well, can I have another pet?”
“Yes, we’ll talk about that when we get home.”
“When I can I have another pet?”
“One of these days,” I said. “Let’s give it some time.”
“How much time?”
I swear, that kid wears me out! And I have little doubt the sounds of a little animal will fill our house again before long.
I’m holding out hope the sound will be a whimper and a bark, and not a purr and meow.
But of course, it’s all about the kids, right?