Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Elephant in the Room

A few months ago, one of the two beloved elephants at the Central Florida Zoo died. The story in the paper said that the fate of the other elephant was now in limbo because elephants need companionship and she shouldn't be left in the zoo alone.
Mason goes to the zoo a lot with Grandma and his favorite part is the elephant show. I didn't know how to tell him about Mary's death, so until last night I just didn't. And he didn't go to the zoo.
But then last night we were talking about a book he has with an elephant in it and in the book the elephant is afraid of a mouse. He said, "When I go to the elephant show at the zoo, the elephants there aren't afraid of mice!" And so I decided it was time to tell him.
This is how the conversation went:
Me: I'm not sure if they have the elephant show at the zoo anymore.
Mason: Why not?
Me: One of the elephants went away.
Mason: Where did it go?
Me: It just went away.
Mason: Why?
Me: It got very old and had to go away.
Mason: I've got to tell Grandma! (Sad faced, picked up his pretend phone, dials and puts phone to ear.)
Mason: Grandma - one of the elephants at the zoo is dead.
Me: I didn't say it was dead!
Mason: Grandma - sorry, he's not dead, he just went away.
Me: Well, actually he is dead.
I was in shock that he got "dead" from my saying "got old and went away". I was trying to be all euphamistic with the "went away" and he totally got it. These kids are way smarter than we give them credit for!


Regina said...

This is the best story...I wish certain teachers could read it and understand that 3 and 4 year olds do understand what is being said around them, what is going on around them, and do not make up stories!!! I can feel your shock, amazement, and struggle with what to say after you heard him 'call' Grandma.

Tayler said...

best part of this post is the post itself, welcome back to the blog world, We all look forward to more stories. The story is super funny too!

CHarris said...

I second Tayler! Welcome back on the horse!

Tayler said...

Do you mean "welcome back on the elephant"?