"(Now let us) Have a little talk with Jesus. (We will) Tell him all about our troubles. (He will) hear our fainted cry (and he will) answer by and by. (You will) Hear a little prayer wheel turning and know a little fire is burning. (You will) find a little talk with Jesus makes it right!"
My nine year old Bailey, had a really rough day today. First her daddy broke down her reef tank, which she worked really hard on and finally had a stable ecosystem after almost a year and a half of figuring out the chemistry. The upside is that after we paint her room next week she'll be getting a bigger tank, but the downside is that she watched all the corals she has grown herself walk out the door today and go back to the fish store. What she didn't know, was what waited for her when she got home was going to be far worse.
Bailey is an animal lover, and I mean that in the strongest sense possible. She won't even eat animal flesh unless she doesn't have any choice, plus she personally has 5 pets that she cares for, not counting the reef tank, and she does a great job. This spring we got her a second Parrotlet, which is a tiny little bird w/ a BIG personality, and she named her AJ. AJ and Bailey were instantly best buds and Bailey would spend a lot of time playing with her and loving on her. Today, when she got home from dropping her corals off at the fish store she got AJ out to play. AJ didn't respond with as much energy as she usually would and Bailey knew something was wrong. She called to her daddy, who tried to help but it was too late. AJ died in Bailey's hands. The hardest part, is we have no idea why and we may never know, but this playful and sweet little bird was certainly not with us long enough.
I was out with my friend and her baby when I called Michael and he said I had better get here because AJ was dying, and I nearly broke my neck to get home. I was too late to do anything for AJ, but I came in just in time to have some time with Bailey. We had a talk about loss and death, I shared some personal stories that I believe she is old enough to hear about losing things that you really want only to find something better around the corner, and how some losses stay with us forever but the pain can heal with time and love. She cheered up a little right away, and we headed out to the store.
When we got home she was moping again so I asked her if she wanted to help cook dinner. We had a blast cooking for her daddy and she did such a good job. She even made gravy by herself. We talked, about why it was important for a girl to know how to cook a steak properly and other trivial things, we laughed, at why boys are so silly and we thoroughly enjoyed the look on her daddy's face when he tasted the steak she helped cook. At that moment, I felt like the best mom in the whole world.
The truth is, my daughter will face more pain and heartbreak as a teenager and a young woman than her little nine year old brain can ever imagine. I would love to spare her that pain, but I know what she has to look forward to. There are no certainties in this life but she will lose a best friend, watch her grandparents grow week and feeble, break up with the boy she wants to spend the rest of her life with, and God only knows what else. I hope she knows that no matter what happens and no matter how old she is that she can always come "Have a Little Talk" with Momma. It may not make things right, but I believe today we both learned that it can make things better.