Little kids have this uncanny way of dealing with deaths. My four years old somehow seems to understand deaths.
One day, he asked me, “So, who is your mommy?” I told him my mommy is dead. And he went, “Oh!” No more question. He looked like he understood very well.
Today, he lost his milk bottle. That kid is a milk and rice addict. He tried hard to go to sleep without his bottle of milk but kept tossing and turning. He knows I have a lot of milk bottles stored in the cabinet. Those are little milk bottles that I used to store my ebm with.
(ebm = expressed breast milk)
He asked sheepishly….”Mommy…can Vincent kor-kor gives me his bottle?”
(Vincent kor-kor = big brother Vincent, my deceased fourth son)
I replied, “Of course, but those bottles are so old. That’s why I don’t want to use it for you. You cannot sleep without your milk-milk? How about mommy give you the real nen-nen?”
He laughed, “You no milk already! Cannot, later I bite your nen-nen how?”
We had a good laugh and looking at his poor face, I decided to soak one old bottle with hot water and use it temporary for the night.
When I returned from the kitchen with the bottle, he clapped with glee. “Yay! Vincent kor-kor gives me his bottle.”
Midway while he was enjoying his bottle of milk, he stopped and asked, “Mommy, do birds eat butterflies?”
I knew what he was thinking as I had once told him Vincent kor-kor died and is a free spirit now. Sometimes, he is like the butterflies or dragonflies, free to fly around.
I assured him, “Hahaha, you mean can the bird eat Vincent kor-kor if he turned into a butterfly, is it? Of course, no. Jesus will protect Vincent kor-kor, don’t worry.”
He asked further, “Is Jesus Vincent kor-kor’s father?”
I was stuck for a while. “No, God is our Father. Jesus is our friend. And Mother Mary is looking after Vincent kor-kor just like how mommy takes care of you, ok? And mommy is still Vincent kor-kor’s mommy and you are his little baby brother.”
Goodness! Lucky he didn’t ask me to explain the Holy Trinity or else the conversation will never end.
*sigh* Butterflies are free to fly.