While it is not a huge surprise that a 2 year plus mouse passed away, his death was still treated with the somberness befitting the occasion. Younger made the discovery late Saturday night, the Saturday of Our Glorious Weekend. You already know that I don't touch mice, but since I was the only adult in the home, it looked like I was going to have to make an exception. And pick up a dead mouse. I had just started my breathing exercises when Younger thought that perhaps we should leave the mouse untouched and "wait for Dad to get home." I am both relieved and vaguely insulted. I mean, I can totally be the grown up and handle this awful, icky situation, but, "Ok, honey." Instead, I busied myself finding the right box for the burial because Younger was already planning the funeral.
For a mouse.
Twilight on a Sunday night, gloaming (I love that word), a perfect time for the family to gather in the front yard and pay our final respects. Younger started with a prayer and then announced that we would now, going in a circle, say nice things about Snowball. I was touched that Older son took this quite seriously and expressed some very nice sentiments about the mouse. My husband and and I tried to say something meaningful as well. I kept checking Younger's face, to make sure this was going well, and he seemed satisfied.
In fact, beyond satisfied, Younger seemed quite calm about the whole situation. Am I doing just that marvelous a job of raising young men who can calmly ride the ebb and flow of life, greet life's ups and downs with equanimity? No, lest I become smug, I remembered a conversation I had overheard that morning. We had picked up a friend of Younger's to take to church. From the backseat, I heard Younger explaining that his mouse had died, "but we're going to get 2 new mice next (What? When? What about a respectful waiting period??? Two???). "One will be white and the other will be black or brown. I'm going to name them Milk and Cookie."