Let me begin by saying there is a reason they don't name cows on large cattle ranches.
A very good reason.
A reason that hit me square in the face last night.
Bug was excitedly discussing how when he was big and owned a gun he would be a hunter.
He was going into great detail about how he would blow away anything in his sites.
You see, despite my child seeming ever so sensitive most of the time, he has this strange obsession with guns and hunting. This despite the fact that neither his dad or I hunt, nor has he ever been around a lot of hunting aside from knowing that my dad does hunt on occasion. I'm not against it, we just don't do it and we certainly don't talk about it.
I was getting annoyed that he seemed to have no understanding the impact of shooting an animal has. You know, that it actually dies.
I asked him in a curious but non accusing tone "So you could actually kill an Elk or a deer?"
Bug replied with hands holding an invisible gun "Yep, they'd get into my sites and I'd shoot 'em!" I was taken back by his brazen attitude and went on to say "So it doesn't really bother you that Papa had Fernando butchered last week."
Bug froze in his tracks, he stared at me with his mouth open. Then he squeaked out "You mean Fernando is dead?" Tears welled up into his eyes. Shit. Stupidest parenting moment ever.
I grabbed him up and hugged him. " Oh honey" I said " I didn't realized you would be so upset" He buried his head in my neck, I could feel the tears on my skin.
I tried to talk to him about it but he covered his ears with his hands and closed his eyes.
To be honest, he didn't act this upset when his grandma died in the spring. He was sad but not never did sob like he was now. All I can think of is that after losing her he has such a deeper understanding of what death means.
I told him I wouldn't talk about it until he was ready and that it was OK for him to be upset.
Later as I was making dinner he angrily said " I'm never eating meat again, not even chicken nuggets! I'm going to be a vegetarian."
I said that was just fine if that's what he wanted.
But then he said " I'm never talking to grandpa again!"
This shocked me, he loves his grandpa. The sun rises with grandpa when he is around.
I said " That would sure make grandpa sad"
Bug responded with " I don't care!"
I decided to just let it be and not get him any more upset. I figure in a few days he will forget that he was mad at grandpa for having the cow butchered.
I just feel like such an ass for underestimating my sons feelings.
We had discussed all along that the cow was for meat and would be butchered eventually. Never once before last night did Bug even bat an eye about it.
If I didn't know it before I'm now positive we won't be raising any cattle for meat at this house!