As a mom I want my kids to have the best possible life. A happy and fulfilled life. I don't want them to be sad, disappointed, let down, and not have the things they want. I know it isn't possible to protect them from everything, but I do the best I can. The reality is life happens and we can't protect them from it all. When they are exposed to the disappointments of life I want to be able to help them cope with it.
I blogged earlier this week about Runty's death. What I left out is that she got under the car as we were backing out of the driveway. My husband saw her first and exclaimed "oh shit" as he stopped the car. I immediately looked up and saw Runty flailing around for a few seconds and then stop and lay still.
I had flashbacks of a time when I was younger and we were leaving for church and I looked up to see my kitten doing a similar dance. My mom got out of the car, went in the house, got a shotgun and shot the cat to put it out of its misery. I remember going from the hilarity of seeing my kitten do some crazy dance to realizing it was hurt and then dead. Then we went to church.
The kids from the back seat could not see what was happening and we talked in coded words to shield them from the disaster. We were on our way to my daughter's first basketball game and we didn't want her to have it clouded with disaster and tears. She was already nervous. I didn't want her to go through the situation.
Deciding together that Runty, having not moved again, was surely dead we left for the basketball game and I shed a few silent tears in the car. My daughter had a glorious game and scored even.
I kept myself distracted for the remainder of the evening and when we got home my son was sleeping in the car and my daughter with my parents. I got out and picked up Runty's still body and took her behind the house and cried.
The next morning, my son came in from feeding his rabbits crying, saying he couldn't find Runty, there was blood all over the driveway in the snow and surely she was dead.
I immediately started to cry again and told him yes Runty was dead. He wanted to see her, but I lied and said I didn't know where she was. I wanted to protect him. I didn't want him to have to see her little still body that no longer held her sweet spirit.
My daughter came home and asked about all the blood. I cried with her all over again, but once again denied letting her see Runty.
Then my son found her. He put all the puzzle pieces together and wanted to know if that was what had happened when we had stopped the car while pulling out of the driveway. He wanted to know why I hadn't just told him.
I realized that maybe trying to protect him from Runty's death wasn't the best thing. Our emotions are what makes us human. The high's in life are all the better for the lows that we experience. I explained to him that I was trying to protect him and that maybe I was wrong for doing so. I explained it wasn't anybody's fault Runty got ran over, we had all thought she was in a safe spot.
He hugged me, we cried a little and decided where the best spot for burying Runty was. We also discussed how now she could breath easier, walk better, and was no doubt smiling down at us from kitty heaven if there is such a place.
What would you have done?