DATE: Spring 1995
PLACE: Spain ("home" at the time)
PRESENT: Dad (Now "Ex") Daughter (age 2.5) Son (age 2.5) Mom
SETTING: In our apartment, listening to a raging thunderstorm
Hold on to your hats people, this is a "Postive" Ex Story! Yeah, they do happen...
Lately, at work and at the blog, there's lots of talk about small children and their fascination with death as well as their fears in general. Our Memory Monday scene combines the two and lives large in my memory as a creative way to deal with both.
When we moved to Spain in January 1995, the kids were barely 2, we had a large, yellow lab "Reggae" in tow, and we lived on the 4th floor in an apartment in the middle of nowhere, Spain. Really: we lived far west of Madrid in the desert in a tiny town. Shortly after we moved in, we needed to take a day trip to Madrid to shop for house stuff (we didn't bring nearly enough and most of what we brought we didn't need and most of what we stored in USA we needed. Sheeesh). What to do with Reggae? She hadn't learned the art of peeing on the street like most dogs, and despite living in the desert, there wasn't a good place (aka grass, park, something) for her to "go." Ex came home frustrated with a dog who wouldn't "go," and it was time to get on the road. So we left her on the balcony for the day where if she had an accident, she'd be safe from ruining the marble floors.
About 10 minutes before we got back from Madrid, there were fireworks in town - Mardi Gras or something. Reggae's biggest fear? Fireworks. In her attempt to escape the fireworks, she leaped over the balcony wall to her death. (The wall was solid and she had no idea where she was). We came home to a crowd in the square below our apartment, where Reggae lay twitching. Yeah, it was awful.
Fast forward a couple months. The kids are still asking for Reggae (we had her when they were born, and she was their gentle jungle gym, their step stool, their blanket, everything). A thunderstorm is shaking the apartment building. The kids are crying and upset. Screaming about the Storm. Screaming about Reggae. And Ex says, "Your silly Dog is up in Heaven, sitting next to Jesus, playing with the controls! She's pushing all the buttons and making all that loud thunder. [crack of thunder]. Now watch - she's going to push the lightening button!" [FLASH goes the lightning]. And lo and behold, the kids stop crying. Now they're waiting for the thunder! CRACK and what follows? No tears, GIGGLES! "Oh Reggae you are so silly!" Daughter shouted out the window up to the sky. We sat by the window and enjoyed the storm, telling stories of how much fun Reggae was and how much fun she was having up in heaven with Jesus, "Pushing the buttons."
To this day when it storms, we laugh about Reggae, up in Heaven. Pushing the buttons.
Oh that all the problems could be solved so quickly.