Monday, June 27, 2005

big sad

Yesterday afternoon, Sage came to me, almost in tears, looking very troubled. Behind her, her mother silently mouthed to me "she lost the bunny".

"Come here, little girl" I said, patting the spot beside me on the bed. "What happened?"

"I lost my bunny," she told me, closing her eyes against the tears.

"Where did you leave her?" I asked.

"I don't know," Sage said.

"Well," Nikki said. "Tomorrow, we'll check your school. Maybe she's there. If she's not, maybe she went back to the bunny store."

"She's not at the bunny store, mom," Sage said.

"If we can't find her, maybe we can find you another bunny friend, when we have money," I told her. "Are you a little sad?"

"No, Dad," Sage said, looking at me. "I'm BIG sad."

"Sometimes, we lose things," I said, holding my daughter. "And it's okay to be very sad or a little sad. But we can't be sad all the time, right?"

"Dad, I'm worried about her," Sage said.

Upon investigation, I learned that Sage brought the bunny, her favorite doll, with her to one of the stores downstairs and left it. When she and her nanny came back, it was gone, picked up by some other person.

Loss is never easy to explain, but I think it's better for her to learn that some things are just not so easily replaced. It teaches her to be more careful with the things she values, and also offers a lesson on letting go.

Big, sad truths for my 3 year-old, for whom the idea of what is permanent (like death) is still something for her mind to completely encompass. When I was child, I thought things and people would last forever.

That evening, we took her to visit our pet store, where she looked at and played with some real animals; to the bookstore, where her mother and I took turns reading her books Sage liked; to the furniture store, where we looked at and touched fragile objects carefully and tested the softness of various couches; to the comic book store to visit Uncle Vin; to the resto for the weekly sinigang she loves so much; and to the arcade to ride a motorcyle.
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By the time we got home, I asked her if she was still sad about her bunny.

"Just a little, Dad," she said, yawning. "Can you help me take off my shoes?"


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