I was volunteering in Olivia's class the other day. One of her friends, Alexia, started off the day telling me that she was feeling sad. When I asked her why, she told me she didn't want to tell me in front of the other kids (for good reason, there are some rather *insensitive* kids in there... to put it mildly.) So I pulled her aside to chat.
She had tears in her eyes and told me that her puppy was sick. My heart went out to her. She was obviously very upset. I asked her what was wrong with her puppy. "He had a heart attack. They are going to take his heart out and fix it." Oh, wow. That seemed pretty serious. Quite frankly, I didn't know they did that for dogs. I asked her when they were going to fix her puppy's heart? Right now. "My mommy is there with him now."
So, putting on my best mommy hat, I scrolled through my head thinking of what I might say to Olivia in this case. Or what I might want a caring grown up to say to her. "What is your puppy's name?" She told me her puppy's name is Juan. I smiled as I thought of how much I like it when people give their pets people names. "That's a great name."
"What does your puppy look like?" I asked, thinking if she could picture her puppy and have a chance to describe him it would somehow help.
"He looks Mexican," she answered thoughtfully. She then went on to tell me he has brown hair.
And then she told me he is pretty tall.
Wait a SECOND. "Alexia, did you say your POPPY is sick?"
"Yes. My mom's dad." And then the tears began to flow.
Oh crap... I had just had a 5 minute conversation about her grandfather who was in the hospital having open heart surgery and the WHOLE STINKIN time I thought she was describing Juan, the puppy.
She must have thought, "Why does this crazy lady want to know what my sick grandfather looks like? Sicko!"
I was able to give her a hug, remind her that God is in control and let her know that Olivia and I would be praying for her Poppy and for her. She wiped the tears away and was ready to go back with the rest of her class. With my pride a tiny bit tarnished and my super hero mommy cape tucked between my legs, I too was ready to back and join the rest of the class.
However, I still think Juan would make a great name for a puppy!