Please accept my apologies for the absence of posts here at scrumdilly-do! The month of May proved to be a difficult time for me as my dear Grandmother passed away. I had been her caregiver for the last eight years and a large part of my life revolved around her. The loss, though expected (she was 95!), swallowed me up and from there I got sick and then sicker and then sick again followed by the start of a summer job.With that put out there for you, I would like to take a moment, a single post to encourage you to introduce the topic of death and dying to your wee ones. It doesn't have to be done in a lesson plan kind of way but don't shy away from it. Children have an enormous capacity for empathy and understanding. Keep your mind and your heart open to discussing it when it is appropriate and when the topic comes up. Look for those "teachable moments" whether they include the loss of a pet, an encounter with a dead bird, a squashed bug, a dying plant or a playmate's loss. I once had a young child in my care suddenly start crying on the drive to school. when I asked what was happening she told me she didn't want her mother to die. Since I was driving I had to figure out a way to comfort her with words and so I acknowledged her sadness and asked her why she was thinking of it at that moment. From there we discussed ideas of death and dying. she told me all about her idea of heaven and what she wanted and after a while the tears went away, though I think mine began after I dropped her off as it was a wonderfully beautiful moment. If a child brings the topic up first, listen to them and ask questions. Figure out where the worry is coming from. Don't explain too much, embrace the moment. If you are interested in book titles dealing with loss and grief, you can find a listmania list here. The picture above is the cover a recently read title that I stumbled upon a few months ago. Is Grandpa Wearing a Suit? is a beautiful and melancholy story and I think some children will respond well to it. I always tend to lean towards the "have your books ready BEFORE you need them" route. It takes the mystery and some of the scariness out of the topics.
I hope to add some fun soon to the blog. I've got some more strawberry basket ideas kicking around in my head. Now I need to find the time to DO them! Thank you for hanging in there with me!