My daughter is so sweet.
I have been very busy lately, so I am finally able to sit and write about last weekend.
Trev and I were out with a boatload (no really..a real boatload) of friends on the river early Saturday morning. The guys like to go when the water is like glass - great wakeboarding. The kids were with a sitter.
I answered the cell phone and it was Monkey A, though I could hardly recognize her voice. She was sobbing and I knew immediately that something "real" had happened.
Through her sobs, I heard her inform me that Steve Irwin, the crocodile hunter, died.
I tried to calm her and help her over the phone but my heart ached for her, and I was done having fun on the river because all I could think of was that I needed to be there to talk with her about it and comfort her. When I explained my reaction to the phone call to all in the boat, a conversation ensued over Steve Irwin and his dangerous life, and they thought it was cute that our daughter was upset. But they don't really know my daughter, and it was much more upsetting than cute.
Okay, now to clarify this drama. MA has loved animals since she could notice them. ALL animals, slimy and scary included. She has never been afraid of worms, snakes, big dogs...you name it. So, she discovered Animal Planet long ago and has been a DEVOTED fan of the channel, and especially any show with Steve Irwin. She would frequently visit the website, and she knows lots of trivia and facts about animals, and about Steve personally. For about a year she has been telling everyone she knows that her dream is to work at the Australian Zoo, and someday to meet Steve. All her family has responded the same way..."Can't you work at a zoo in the U.S.A?" I think it's easy to laugh off the dreams of an 11-year old, but I think because of Steve Irwin's enthusiasm and obvious love of animals, she saw a kindred spirit, and she adored him.
Since then we have talked about his death, his life, and she has started a letter to the family (her idea). She had a rough few days, but seems to understand that this is part of life. She is determined to honor him in her own way. She continues to watch his reruns on Animal Planet every day, and has watched her copy of his Crocodile Hunter movie a few times this week.
So I guess I write this in honor of my sweet daughter and Steve Irwin. I am sad he is gone, and sad for her loss. But I'm proud of her reaction, and her ability to see good, and make the best of what has been one of the first heartbreaks in her life.