On death and stories and children

I left the playground feeling like I must've come across as "that" sort of a mother to her. And yet - to be honest - the prospect of it made me grin :P.

So, to fill you in on the details: I was at a playground with our children yesterday. The Girlie was in my backpack, The Kid was on the swing, I was standing there and pushing The Kid's swing along.

Another mother and her daughter were on the swing next to us. The girl swung, the mother pushed - kind of like us.

At one point the girl noticed a bee that was crawling on the ground between the two swings. She pointed it out to her mother and asked why the bee wasn't flying instead. The mother replied that the bee was wanting to rest a little and that's why it was crawling.

I looked down and without much thinking said, "Looks like it's about to die."

Silence ensued. The mother acted like I didn't exist. At all.

We all looked at that bee for a while longer and suddenly it occurred to me that it's probably not such a good idea to have a bee on the ground in a children's playground - lots of bare feet are around, someone may get stung.

I got a hat out of the backpack and said to everyone that I'll pick the bee up and take it to the fenceline so it doesn't lay underneath the swings.

As I was walking away I overheard the little girl asking her mother if something was wrong with the bee and the mother explaining that no, nothing's wrong: the bee just needs to rest and then it'll fly again.

I, on the other hand, looking at that bee, was pretty sure that soon enough it was simply going to be dead.

And as I was later walking away from that playground I had a little giggle over the silence that ensued when I had blurted out that the bee was about to die, and that mother's effort to not mention anything about death at all.

I got a reminder of it later in the evening when me and The Kid watched Mary and Max on the screen and in the end when Max died, The Kid pointed to the screen, made a sad face and said, "Max diiiiiiiiiie. Oh no, Max diiiiiiiiiiiiiie."

I'm not sure how much he understands about death, but it's not a concept we're hiding from him.

And it made me think how it's such a different way in which people talk to their children.



  1. Õppisin just Lastekaitse ainetes seda, kuidas erinevas vanuses lapsed surma mõistavad ja kuidas nad ka erinevaid surma-mänge mängivad. Sellised, mis täiskasvanutel külmajudinaid tekitavad ja lapsed ikka rõõmsalt edasi mängivad, nt kuidas ema suri ära vms. Sellised mängud on loomulikud ja lapsed püüavad omal moel läbi mängu hirmude jms toime tulla. Kui aga laps ei tea veel, et mis asi see suremine või surm on, siis kindlasti ei tasu hakata rääkima pikast unest, kaugest reisist jms, sest laps võib hakata kartma iga kord seda, kui keegi reisile läheb (et äkki ei tulegi tagasi) või sügavalt magab (et äkki ei ärkagi üles või siis ise magamaminekut karta). Mis ma oma jutuga öelda tahan on see, et surma teemat ei pea laste eest varjama. Kindlasti ei ole see üks meeldivamaid teemasid, mida lapsega jutustamiseks võtta, kuid tasuks igaks juhuks end ette valmistada, et mida ja kuidas rääkida juhul kui peaks lahkuma vanaema, lemmikloom, eakaaslane ning teada, mis võivad olla lapse tavalisemad reaktsioonid sellele ning kuidas last leinas aidata.
    Vajadusel võin vastavat kirjandust soovitada.
    Aga muidu on nii vahva ja tore lugeda, et kuskil on mänguväljak, kus on paljad jalad :) Meil on siin praegu jää ja vesi ning tänavad ühtlased liuväljad.

  2. Kristina16.1.15

    Ma ka räägin poisile nagu elu osast. Mitte põhjalikult, aga täpselt samast stiilis - kärbes on surnud akna peal. Või ka vana-vanavisa on surnud sest oli vana.

    Ükspäev poiss räägib - suri ära. Läks maa alla... muttide juurde!
    Mul pole aimugi kust see nüüd tuli :) laste fantaasia kirjutab lüngad täis.

  3. Anonymous16.1.15

    Jälle ilusad pildid, Lorelai on niiiii suur juba ja Elias nagu suur poiss juba. Mul on nii hea meel neid pilte vaadata! Vanaema

  4. Sometimes all the bee needs is some nectar or sugar water and it'll be fine. Often they've simply picked up too much pollen and it's tired them out with all the extra weight.
    Btw, my kids know about death, both went to my gran's funeral, they've seen me kill a duck for dinner and the number of white tail spiders and snails I've killed in front of them, lets just say death is not a taboo subject in our family.

    1. Oh yeah? I might go Google that right know :). I've never heard of this "too much nectar" thing. Thanks for telling me about it!

    2. You're welcome, I normally pick them up and put them on a clover flower as they can access the nectar without much more pollen build up. I normally don't find them afterwards so I'm pretty sure they fuel up and fly off again. Otherwise I'd expect to find the dead bee near the flower.
      I'm rather fond of bees and go out of my way to make life easier for them, hence the lawn that's mostly clover

    3. Hey, have you heard about bees becoming "drunk" on fermented plant material? As I was googling what you'd said I came across this, http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bees_and_toxic_chemicals

    4. That's something I didn't know, haven't seen any drunk bees around here yet as far as I know.