Monday, April 08, 2002

What a hard weekend that was...

I am worn out.

It's almost 11 am, and I feel like I need a nap. I took Geoff to school because Doug got a late start. I woke up sad because there was no half dressed little boy snuggling up to me with a guinea pig in his hands whispering "isn't she cute? I love the guinea pig... Good morning mommy..." and it broke my heart. I could have just cried my eyes out right there. So I've been kind of down in the mouth, but trying to look on the bright side of life, even in the face of inadvertent death.

Geoff has been on best behavior since the pig incident, and I know he feels badly and is totally sorry. I've never seen him express regret, or remorse before, so this is all new. I'm sorry that he had to learn that his bad decisions sometime have bad consequences in this way, but I hope this lesson sticks with him.

Jessica already wants a new guinea pig. I told her no, not for a while. And when we do, we get a proper cage with a sturdy locking top that he can't open.

After I wrote about the incident yesterday, we had a funeral for Oreo. Jessica got one of her tiedye shirts, which used to belong to Doug back in the day. It had holes in it, and was all worn out. Hell, it must have been 15 years old... Doug looked shocked that it was her choice, but I totally agreed with it. She loved that shirt, and she loved that pig. They could be retired together. Geoff didn't take any of this seriously at first, which totally made Doug and me very nervous... what kind of a monster is he? Can he just kill a guinea pig and laugh it off.

Doug told me he thought the laughing when we would try and talk to him about what was happening was a nervous thing, but I didn't feel it was. Sometimes little kids laugh not to be mean or because they actually find humor in the situation, but because they are nervous and don't want it to show.

He was right. When we went outside, Doug had picked a place and dug a foot deep hole. He quartered an apple, and I wrapped the now very stiff guinea pig up in Jessie's shirt. I laid her in the ground (crying my ass off silently, whispering "bye pig,") and each of us put a quarter of the apple in with her, because it was her absolute favorite food. Then, Doug started to fill in the hole, and Geoff freaked out.

"Stop it! You can't do that! It's not true!!!" He started yelling. Right up to that point, he thought it was all alright. But here, seeing the reality of the grave, the finality of life, it hit him.

Doug let Jessica go in the house because she was very sad, she didn't need to see any more, but we made Geoff stay with us, and we talked to him by the now covered hole. She can't be woken up, the vet can't fix her, and God isn't going to make her alive again babe, she's gone.

He was really upset, and spent the afternoon crying and moping about the house. He played on the keyboard with Doug for a while, but he was certainly sullen, and very sad.

I feel horrible that we all had to go through this. I especially feel horrible about the guinea pig.

I looked up some stuff online about kids his age and death, why this happened, how to deal with it. We did everything right and he didn't do it intentionally or with malicious intent or depraved indifference (man, I sound like I'm on "Law and Order," don't I?), and it was an accident. Kids do stupid things like this, and man alive, I think it finally made a difference in him to see that not following rules and not listening to his parents does actually lead to bad ends.

I hope it really makes a difference in what he does in the future, and I am so sorry that the guinea pig was the "sacrificial lamb" to knowledge on his part. But I always try and see some sort of positive in things, ya know? And if the positive is that he finally gets it... well then hallelujah. I see Bart Simpson up on the statue of Jeremiah Obidiah Zechariah Springfield addressing the crowd with something along the lines of "this Sunday School student on the brink of redemption..." when they are ready to string him up for cutting off the head of the revered man's statue... and I think of Geoff. He's my Sunday School student on the brink of redemption... and I sure hope the lesson sticks.

No more guinea pigs for a while. Thanks.

And thanks to everyone who wrote me... I got some very sweet email from people. I guess that Lileks is right, that the web is a conversation, and I appreciated all the kind conversings that you folks did towards me. I'm humbled.

Earlier in the journal, Saturday to be exact, I mentioned we were going to Walden, to Concord, to places historic. Well, Doug found out they were doing a reinactment of Paul Revere's arrest down there at the national park, and it was supposed to be well attended, which meant tons of people and no fun for us, and we'd have to leave the dog home because he wouldn't be able to deal with the crowds... so we went to a place not too far from the house to walk. I took some pictures, here they are:

It wasn't Walden, but where we went did have conservation in mind. Here's the trail marker. It is somewhere we've gone a bunch of times. There's a good swimming hole for the dog(s). Aaron swam in it once. We learned there are leeches in the water there thanks to his experiment.

Geoff kind of looks like Kurt Cobain here. Piercing eyes. Grin. Blonde.
I thought Jessica did too at this age. She's grown out of that look.

Jess and Dog in the car... funny angle.

Aaaah, goood loooookin' doggie. He looks like the king of nature.

And another shot of Jess in car.

More of dog.

Me. Jessica insisted on taking my picture. I was harassing the kids by taking tons of pictures of them while Doug was in the store.

Geoff is a little nature boy. He loves to go for hikes. I look forward to having him all to myself for a while. We'll be doing this solo, with dog.

Doug and Geoff crossing a bridge, rather small in comparison to the old trees here.

Doug thought these buds was freaky. They were furry and grey, kind of like pussy willow, but on a tree, and they dangled down. We have no idea what they are. And I took this with a flash, so they look super funky.

Alrighty then. I have a curtain to make for Jessica's room, something to spray paint for a project for her for school which is due tomorrow. I have to buy rubber bands too for this (pictures coming, I assure you). And finally to finish up on the websites I've been building. I'm waiting for content from all three, one is 99% done. The other 80%, and the catering man's site is in its infancy.

My life... busy but boring.

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