Friday, 22 August 2014

Adventures with frogs. Part Five: Big dramatic stuff

It was fun working on plans on making a garden wildlife pond, but in my stomach a worry gnawed away at me. I was upset by the death of the two tadpoles and no amount of bath tub convergence planning could ease that. To distract myself further I talked to my wife about the new project. As I spoke I mentioned I was upset and having giving words to my feelings the explanation quickly came to me.

The two tadpoles who died had been full of life and energy and now where gone. My sons too are full of boundless vitality and energy, yet with summer’s end the oldest would be going up to first class and the youngest would be beginning school. These were big changes up ahead. No matter how much I wanted my children to stay little they were growing and growing fast. With summer’s end there would be no more crèche for my youngest, and no more me dropping in to share stories with all his little friends. 

Change was coming and the little dead tadpoles had shown me how irrevocable some changes are. But of course children change, we all do: every day we wake up one day older and hopefully one day sillier. It was my children, ever changing children, who had started off this whole crazy frog spawn business. All we can do is roll with the waves of time and try to enjoy the swim. My worries and regrets did not vanish just because I had found words to examine them but the fretting had gone. When I went to bed I slept well. 
However, my children did not. My oldest woke after midnight, upset and crying and shouting and disrupting the whole house. Death had visited our garden that day and my six year old was shocked, terrified and upset. He was grieving as only a child can, with all his vitality and energy and the volume button turned up full blast! He was inconsolable and remained so till five in the morning, when utterly drained he fell asleep. 

He woke up much mid morning, groggy but content enough and looking for things to do. I was irritable, not so much at my son as at my inability to get any of my work done. Sleep deprivation does not help creativity. But the sun was shining, and there was no point trying to do anything workwise. So we all took an extra day’s holiday and went down to the beach. The boys still spoke of their sadness, but we also swam, found crabs,
kicked a ball and built sand castles. In the evening we slept and next day began transforming the bath tub.
 * * *

Read the final installment of the frog articles at: Adventures with frogs: Chapter Six
You might also enjoy: Help! My boys have set up a chemical weapons factory
There are also some articles in you may find interesting:

How we grieve: Learning to live with loss
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