As I am sure I have said many-a-time before, Liam loves loves loves to be outside.
He would be out there constantly if he had his way.
The other day we were outside and he was playing with ants.
Not thinking anything of it I didn't pay much attention. Off in my own world. Then he came to me with a squished ant on his finger.
And following that little act came a quick conversation that warped a view I have on a natural life phenomenon which has always...daunted me.
L: Look mom, I dead him
M: O Liam, why did you squish the ant?
L: Because ant missed his mommy and daddy
|Watching brother poke ants|
I will be honest. At first I was a tad bit disturbed. And then it dawned on me. For Liam's first birthday, we bought him two (cheap Walmart) fish who, not surprisingly, brought much joy and happiness to the little man for about a week. I woke up one morning and found them inevitably floating at the top of their bowl. Soon after I disposed of the fish (gosh that is a nasty job) but before I had a chance of thinking of a way to explain to Liam what happened to his fish, he saw his bowl was empty and the fish gone. He right away asked where they had gone and I had to come up with the reason they were gone, on the spot. My response to my 2-year-old who wouldn't understand the complexities of death: "They just went home to their mommy and daddy." And with that, he understood and no tears were shed. In his 2-year-old mind, he understood missing his Mommy and Daddy and that returning to them was a good thing.
So fast forward back to the other day about 6 months after that fish incident. Since his birthday we have talked to him about death when other pets or animals died and he has a very infantile understanding of it. So when he saw the ants and squished them, in his little boy mind he was doing a very compassionate deed by returning them to their mommy and daddy, because they missed them.
I just have to say I have the most compassionate, loving and kind little two year old boy.
Anyways, I diverge.
I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Liam doesn't understand all the complexities that are associated with death, but he has such a grasp on the subject that is in ways more profound than most adults. Isn't death (how I believe it) just returning to your Mommy and Daddy (albeit the spiritual ones) who we miss so much? Honestly and personally, death does terrify me. Not dying, but having those I love and need in my life die. But as I looked at the normal phenomenon we cannot escape, in this infantile and more simple way, I realized that it is not a horrible thing, but a merciful thing; returning us back to our loving heavenly parents that we miss.
So thinking of death that way, whether it's thinking about (totally hypothetically of course, we are totally healthy and fine haha) about me or a loved one passing on to the next world, it helps to shed a new light on the inevitable. Not a dark, scary, lonely one, but a merciful, happy and lovingly-reuniting view.
Sometimes looking at lives complexities through the eyes of a child can make it so much more simple, beautiful and right.