"Mom, Mom," said Bear, a slight panic to his words. "I can't find Henry."
Oh no. Not Henry... Henry was an old 'hood dog that the boys loved. He passed away recently, and I gave a very simple, but seeming satisfactory answer as to what happened to him. But now, Bear was looking for him.
I am one who believes in not blowing off these conversations. Children need to understand the world around them, and death is a part of that world, as is life.
I get down on my knees and take his hand.
"Now Bear," I say. "We've had this conversation. Henry is gone."
I'm about to continue.
But the potential Viggo-like neighbor steps in.
"Um, He means Henry, my cat...."
Ah, yes, Henry is also the name of the old cat the boys like to play with....
So I said, "Oh, WELL THEN," and patted little Bear's hand... "maybe he's just hiding from you hon."