When you live on a farm some things are more easily accepted because of it.
Such as death. At least death of animals.
Don't get us wrong, we love our animals and death isn't something that we look forward to, or are even calloused against, but it is accepted.
We have had cows die naturally, we have had cows die tragically, we have had cows die so we could eat them....(ahem)...... All of which the kids were understanding of.
We have also seen dogs die, cats, frogs,chickens, fish....... you name it.
However, last week I was surprised at how accepted it was.
Our barn cats had kittens. Both of them. There were a total of ten baby kittens.
Miss L loved them. Whole-heartedly.
She talked to them, checked on them mulitiple times a day, and petted and comforted them.
Did I mention how she loved them?
However, I also found it surprising how Mr B was somewhat indifferent to the kitties. I mean, he liked to see them and he thought they were cute, but poking his head in and seeing that they were "OK" was enough for him. He didn't need to spend that much time, or energy, nuturing. Maybe that was the boy in him, just as the girl in Miss L called her to coddle them and love them.
Last week I noticed that one kitten was not thriving. In fact, it was becoming quite lethargic and still, in addition to the noticible size difference. I am sure it was the runt, but it seemed to have many cards stacked against it, not just size.
I told Steven that night that I thought for sure that by the next day, the kitten wouldn't be alive any longer.
The next evening, as Miss L and I checked on the kittens, I noticed that the little one had indeed passed away.
"Miss L, the kitty has died." I said this as she was bending down to rub her hands through their fur. I didn't want her to be surprised or scared with the realization.
She looked at me and said, matter of factly, "We need to move it."
I told her that her daddy would be there shortly. She was adament that it be moved now. Groaning inwardly I picked it up and started to the door, only to realize that Steven was headed down the drive.
I laid the dead kitty down by the doorway and said, "Daddy is coming. We will let him take care of it. He will bury it for us."
Because, you know, at our house daddy is the person in charge of burying.
Before I could step out the door, Miss L picked up the kitty and said, "I will take it to him."
And she did. This six year old child of mine took the kitty out to her daddy and explained to him that we needed to bury it. Steven got a shovel and headed to what he said was the "perfect" burial site.
And by "perfect" he means easy to dig.
But before he laid the little kitty to rest, the amused daddy did have to get a shot of her standing there holding it. With his cell phone. And no, I won't subject you to that picture. At least not today. He just took the picture all the while smiling with admiration at the toughness of his little cowgirl.
After finding a stick that resembled a cross, they buried the little kitty and said a prayer, even though Miss L said she didn't even know what to pray for.
It was a kitty and it was dead.
I told her that we could ask Jesus to watch over it and take care of it in heaven. And we did.
To my surprise, it wasn't my nuturing little girl that had showered these kitties with love that was torn up over the loss, but my indifferent son, who ended up turning into his daddy's shoulder for comfort.
And this time it was me that took a picture, smiling at the sensitivity of her little boy.