Saturday, October 8, 2011

Simba's daddy takes a nap

Just like everyone else in America, I grew up watching classic Disney movies.  So, I am really happy that they are re-releasing the films I loved for my own family to enjoy.  As you may well know, The Lion King just came out on DVD.  So my 2 year old daughter and I drove to the media store to pick up a copy for the Penny family.  We made some popcorn and slid it into the DVD player to enjoy the magical musical journey together.  Okay so honestly I was in the kitchen making chili and singing "I'm gonna be a mighty king" but we were together... ish.  

I assume you have seen the Lion Kind, but in case for some reason you missed it, In the middle of the story Simba gets caught in the path of a wild stampede.  In order to save Simba's life his dad, Mufasa runs in and plucks him from danger.  But in the process his own brother Scar pushes him off a cliff to his death.  After the stampede passes Simba rushes in to his father and  realizes with wide, sad eyes that his dad is gone.  

It's brutally heart wrenching.  At this point in the film, my two year old daughter looked up at my husband and said:  "Daddy, Simba's daddy take a nap?  Simba feel sad?"

At that moment my Mom heart broke a bit.  I ached inside, Oh God, not yet, I am not ready for her heart to comprehend death yet.  I'm not prepared for that moment where she tries to process the awful permanence of it.  I don't want her to lose so much as a pet hamster, let alone a cherished person in her life.  

This moment has been weighing heavily on my heart these past few days.  Just like any Mother, I want to protect her from the pain of this world, but I know that's not really an option.  I can provide the healthiest and safest environment possible, but she will still encounter heartache, sickness and death on her journey.

After a great deal of pondering I have come to several conclusions.  First of all, I don't have to explain this to her right now.  Cognitively she isn't there yet so for today it's perfectly fine for her to go on believing that Simba's daddy takes a nap.  On the other hand I do have to prepare myself to explain to my children eventually why they don't have the typical grandparent situation.  I think I'll start by telling them that all their grandmas and grandpas are in heaven.  And that God has put special people into their lives to love them, but that their Grandmas and Grandpas in heaven love them very much too.  And then someday I will have to explain what suicide is, although I plan to hold off on this for a long while.  

It is a blessing when you come to realize that your concerns for the future don't need to have concrete resolutions today.  We only have to be prepared to do our lives now, and then wisely prepare as best we can for the future.  That's really all we can do.  I don't have to explain death to my daughter right now, so I am not going to let it spoil my today.  Heck, I'm still trying to explain some aspects of it to myself.  I'm in the middle of sorting through my own sleeping lions this week.  

So today I will cherish the innocence that is found in her beautiful young heart.  I will educate and prepare myself to parent her well in her current and upcoming life stages.  I will pray for wisdom to be her mom and to know how God wants to use me to teach and guide her on this earth.  And I will thank him for the abundant gift that she is, and be thankful that for today it's okay to think that lion daddys are just sleeping.  

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