The Circle of LIfe…

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We knew it was coming, that helped minimize the shock a bit. It was still sad when we found one of our hamsters dead this morning though. He was one that was given to us by friends, so we don’t know exactly how old he was, but we knew he was 2 or 3, which is the average lifespan for a hamster. I actually didn’t think he’d last as long as he did, so it was a good opportunity to talk with the children about death and dying, and now that it’s happened, it wasn’t traumatic at all. I guess all the times I’ve had them peek in to “see if the hamsters are still alive” have been good prep too. One of the children (the one that discovered Sprite was dead when they went to hold him) cried for a minute or two, and my mind was whirling with trying to figure out what to say that acknowledged their pain without minimizing it but at the same time helped them have a good perspective… Before I came up with anything, two teary little eyes were looking at me and a sweet little voice was asking “Can we get another one?” It was easy to say “Yes” since I had already planned that we would get more once these died and I was just wondering how soon to offer new ones without making the children feel like I was disregarding their feelings of missing the dead ones… I think I was overthinking the whooooole thing (surprise!!), because after that “Yes”, all was sunshine and smiles again. One or two of the children took care of disposing of the body and emptying out the cage for me to clean, and we launched right into discussing which breed of hamster we’ll get next. I’ve been talking to the pet store about which breeds are social, and they’ll help guide the children to those breeds when we go to pick out our new hamsters. Once we get them, I’ll let you know their names! :0)
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