Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Jake joined our family this afternoon. Sadly, Jake returned to his maker soon after.

Jake is a pill bug. He died at the expense of his exuberantly loving caretaker. My heart is broken. My son doesn't know. He thinks Jake is just really sleepy. Really sleepy! My son said the prayer for dinner tonight. He prayed that Jake would be good. My heart broke some more.

His dad was working from home today after his meeting in San Jose was canceled. He told our son to find five bugs outside. It was to get him to go outside and spend some time out there . . . and stop bugging Dad! So my son had his magnifying glass that is so scratched from little kid teeth and being scraped across concrete. He was a boy on a mission looking for bugs everywhere. He found a pill bug and carried it into the house to show his dad. Then he took it back out because it was lunch time.

I got the little kids down for a nap and fell asleep myself. My son had found another pill bug outside and decided to keep it as a pet. When I finally woke up, he was telling me about Jake. Something about how he was on a rock in a jar with another jar on top of him so he could have a ceiling. He asked what else he could give Jake. I suggested a twig. He was pretty excited about that because "it could be his blanket!" I'm not sure he knows what a twig is. He found a tiny caterpillar looking thing and put it on the outside of one of the Costco sized animal cracker jars that housed Jake. By the time I got out there Jake was not moving. Neither was the caterpillar thing. Jake was not squished so at first I didn't know what was going on with him.

When my son was about 18 months old I would point out bugs to him. I was trying to be a cool mom to my boy. He would pick up the pill bugs that were rolled into a tight ball. They knew what was coming. Then he would squish the living daylights out of this poor defenseless bug between his tiny fingers. I stopped pointing out bugs after that. My younger son discovered bugs on his own and was pretty proud of himself for stomping on a ladybug. Yes, my little boy who is deathly afraid of flies was proud of killing a ladybug. I saw smooshed ladybug by the garage door and felt deep remorse. I knew he didn't know ladybugs were good bugs. I gently explained it to him and prayed he never found another ladybug again.

I am near tears over Jake's passing. It saddens me to think that my little boy wanted nothing more than to enjoy Jake as his pet. He tried to make him as comfortable as possible. He found the perfect rock for Jake to sleep on. And Jake did. I guess I feel a little better knowing Jake died peacefully in his sleep. Ok, who am I kidding? Jake baked to death in his plastic tomb. The same way that babies and toddlers suffocate and overheat, forgotten in a car on a blazing hot day. My son was so excited about Jake that he wanted to learn about pill bugs. His dad taught him how to do a search on Yahoo kids. I read the info that came up. Pill bugs are crustaceans like lobsters. They need moisture. They also need dirt and someone with a little more knowledge than a 6 year old to care for them.

Rest in peace, Jake. Rest in peace.

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