Friday, August 20, 2010

The Many Faces of Cole

Cole is my free-spirited child. Almost always you can find him with a smile plastered on his face. It's fascinating to me that I have a child who's so busy soaking up life. (My general personality is that I'm too busy with life to soak it up, if you know what I mean.)

When I became pregnant with him, my firstborn was a whopping nine months old. So being as Mason was still very much in the baby stage and his newborn stage was still fresh in my mind, I sorta (unrealistically) expected my second to be just the same.

Couldn't be farther from the truth.

These two could not be more different, and I'm not just talking about Cole's blonde hair and blue eyes.

Mason's very interested in learned facts--numbers, letters, words, bookish stuff-- Cole wants to take crap apart and learn how it works. I call him the Evil Genius, if only he could use his powers for good.

Today Cole mentioned that we need to buy another dog so Mike has someone to play with. It'll be a cold day in hell before I bring another being into this house--the last thing I need is another mouth to feed and more crap to clean up.

So I laughed and said, "No, Mike doesn't need a friend."

Cole's response: "When is Jack going to come back to be Mike's friend."

Jack was our Jack Russell Terror, I mean Terrier who died four years ago (three days before Cole was born in fact). He was bit by a coral snake.

I said to him, "No Cole, Jack is in heaven so he won't be coming back."

Mason chimes in, "Yeah, Jack is in heaven with God."

Cole, after a pregnant pause said, "Well, can he come back down if he promises to stay away from snakes so he doesn't get bitten again?" Cole must have heard us tell the story to someone somewhere along the line.

This whole exchange went down in the car. Life's most important conversations happen in a minivan.

So I'm driving, stupefied, wondering what to say to this. Death is something so hard to understand, let alone explain in appropriate terms to a four year old.

Saved by Mason, the ever precocious child. "It doesn't work that way, Cole," he said.

"Oh, okay. Can we go have a playdate with Matthew?" was Cole's very accepting response.

I've been known to make problems more difficult than they need to be. I guess I'll leave the life lessons up to Mason from now on.

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