Friday, February 22, 2013

Poor Ol' Wormy...

There are many things as a parent I never thought I'd say, including, but not limited to:
  • “Don't use your pant leg to clean up the pee on the floor!”
  • "Did you really just barf in your boot?!"
  • “Eek! There's a rat in my laundry!” (It was a toy the boys put in there as a “surprise” for Mommy...)
  • “AUGH! What th--?! Don't pee on the toilet lid!!” (OK, so that was my husband, but I think it's fair to say he never planned on needing to say that either.)
  • “Thank you so much for making me breakfast in bed, honey but I'm just not quite ready to eat peanut butter filled pretzels at 5 am, m'kay?”
     But yesterday I had a discussion with my son I can pretty fairly say very few other families have had. Yesterday, we buried a friend. He was a good friend. If you were to ask my son about him right now, he would probably forlornly tell you his sad tale and maybe shed a tear. And he would mean it. He is mourning his loss as you would a beloved pet. The difference being, of course, that Wormy is a balloon. That we had for 24 hours. He was steadfast until the end. He started out as a sword named “Sword”, became a hamster (apparently, if you looked at him just right) named “Hamsty”, and then, finally, tragically, he became a worm named “Wormy”. That's right. My son lost his balloon sword. We buried him in the yard. There were tears. And then, my son asked me something I never thought I'd have to explain about a former balloon sword. “Mom, will Wormy go to heaven?”

     Now, my son's grief is real. This is not a kid who is crying because he's angry his balloon popped. He sobbed because he lost a friend. For nearly a day, he cried. Granted, he probably could have used a nap in there somewhere, but the sadness is real. I cannot tell him it's silly to be so sad over “just a balloon” it's Wormy. It's “the best balloon [he's] ever had.” His friend gave it to him and now it's gone forever. On the other hand, how can I tell him that balloons go to heaven? I don't believe in lying. Even in comfort. I can't even say I handled it with some magical all-encompassing answer that will follow him throughout his life and be Pinterested and Facebooked for eternity by virtue of its profundity. Mostly, I said maybe God has lots of balloons in heaven to which he assured me that none of the balloons in heaven would be as good as Wormy. Talk about deflated!

     I can say though, that I held my boy when he cried. And I didn't laugh. We buried him because he couldn't bare the thought of his wilty orange carcass going into the trash. And we will have, for a while at least, a small chunk of concrete in the back yard marking the place where ol' Wormy was laid to rest. Kids have real feelings whether we feel like they “should” or not. It's important to recognize and respond to them appropriately. Even if we don't always use the right words. Sometimes a hug is the best response.  Unless they are wiping pee off the floor with clothing.

    And maybe a tiny bit of comfort food never hurt, either. This also happened to be convenience food for Mama since I had fruit spoiling. Also, I put cream in it. I know what you're thinking. He was in mourning, people.

Goodbye, Wormy Shake
Yields: 3-4 Servings
4 C fresh pineapple chunks
2 tangerines
8 oz cream (or coconut milk)
1 tsp Agave nectar (opt)
(optional ingredients: banana, dates, coconut flakes)

Put all the ingredients into a blender and combine until the cream is frothy and the fruit has disintegrated.

If you are adding the banana or dates, you could omit the agave. Or if your pineapple is super sweet. Ours wasn't really.

  This was served with a side of sorrow* and a splash of salty tears*, but those are entirely optional ingredients. In fact, I suggest you try it when you're at your happiest moment and see if it doesn't taste even better.

(*Not really, he was totally fine by the time we drank these, but it sounded poetic didn't it?)


  1. I hear you Brooke, doesn't matter why your kids are sad, you tell when they truly are sad and it pulls on your heart strings. This shake looks delicious I hope it made him smile :)

  2. Oh Brooke, this is such heartfelt tale...sadness is sadness, no matter what the cause. And you are such a good mama making him this marvelous shake! Good comfort in hugs and something sweet to sip.

    1. He really liked it. Fortunately, it seems his grief was a short lived as his balloon...

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks! I hope you give it a try some time!

  4. Awwww, that is sweet and sad. How old is he? I am with you - always honor your kids feelings so they learn how to respect others feelings and have empathy. Nice job!

    1. My son is 7, Wormy was just a day old... R.I.P. ;) The whole burial thing may be coming back to haunt me, though. Every time he breaks a toy he asks if he can bury it in the yard...

  5. I love this post so, so much. And I am sending to several friends. Really funny and touching and just. . .I dunno. Wonderful.

    1. I'm so glad you like it, Katherine! Considering what a huge fan I am of yours, I am entirely flattered.


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