Saturday, July 20, 2013

Please Put Me Back at the Top of the Stream

Thanks to two local artists we spent the morning watching ducks drift down stream in Krutch Park with many other Market goers. The three yellow rubber ducks were fished-out with sticks and carried back to the head of the man-made stream several times. We got a demonstration of the complexities of hydrodynamics when the ducks got stuck in eddy pools that sent them up stream against the general flow of the water. Some experienced kayakers had the best predictions for how the ducks would move as they floated over the little waterfalls in the stream. Sticks were eagerly deployed by the children to get the ducks out of the undercurrent rolls. 

We love this simple high-joy interactive art project and hope that the city will let the duck stay in the stream! 

Friday, July 5, 2013

On Trying to Help a Kid Deal with Death

Lilly was our lovable Loyal Persian cat. She would greet me at my car when I came home from work and took our preschooler's very enthuatic affection with wary grace. Lilly didn't come home the night of Alex's Birthday party. We searched for a week, we put out food, we checked in with the animal shelter and with all our neighbors. All we found was some of Lilly's fur caught on bushes out front where she seldom ever went. A neighbor  told us that he heard a battle between a pack of a raccoons and a cat happening in the drain pipe near his house the night Lilly disappeared.

We have no body for Lilly, we are not even sure what her fate was. Alex can not understand that she is gone and keeps imploring us to go "get a helecopter to go look for her and put her back together."After three weeks increasing family distressed over Lilly, we decided that we must have a funeral.

We bought a "garden stone" kit with concrete, a mold, and glass stones. I had Alex help me mix up the concreate and poor it into the mold. I let her put some of Lilly's fur in the mix. When she did this she ask "Is Lilly coming back?" I told her no. Alex began to cry. We tearfully pressed the pretty stones and flowers in to the mix, then carved Lilly's name into the semi-set concrete and finally un-molded the stone and said a few nice words to the Universe. This took about two days to complete.

In the last week, Alex has told me a few times solemnly that Lilly is not coming back. It seems that the little ceremony and memorial stone have helped with the grieving and healing process. Its a rough thing for a little kid to process.

Wherever you are Lilly Bug, may every window have a soft perch and comfortable sunbeam.