Jackson is a very sensitive person.
Yes, I know, like his mother!
He is moved emotionally by things that happen within his circle of life.
Yesterday while out running errands, I had promised the boys we'd stop into PETLAND to look at the animals. Because this is something we enjoy doing, and not for reasons of pet purchasing.
It's like going to the zoo, well, not really, but it's a great "tool" to use when you're in Old Navy and needing to focus on sizes and searching you can turn to your children and express, "Boys, behave and we'll go look at the mice and puppies..."
It's nice to have tools sometimes. I don't care whether it's right or wrong, but as a mom, it's nice to have those extra tools for parental assistance.
We leave the clothing store and head towards Petland. Getting closer to their store front windows you can tell things aren't as packed as usual in there. Even the posters and lettering are distinctively less then usual. Then I see the yellow piece of paper,
..."PETLAND (NAME OF TOWN) LOCATION CLOSING AFTER 4 YEARS. ALL SALES FINAL."
We walk inside the store and all the puppy bins are empy, their trays turned upright. The kittens are gone, the mice nonexistant, the fish gone with the exception of maybe two or three goldfish. Even the parakeets are already gone. All there remained were 2 goldfish and 2 white Parrots.
We walked around the store very briefly, the clerks seemed busy cleaning up and removing shelves, taking down tanks, and preparing for the close on the 22nd of February, they seemed annoyed that there were customers still walking the empty aisles in search of that 40% off sale item.
Jackson was concerned with the animals, "what happened to all of them?"
The store clerk said that they were all sold to homes, so that's a good thing, right?
As Long as the animals were really sold into homes, I'm happy about that, and not sent to animal shelters. But with money as a common drive or motive, I'm sure PETLAND wouldn't want to lose money, and if anything, shipped the animals to other PETLAND stores.
Thinking out loud, what does happen to the animals when Petstores close down?
We leave the store and head towards the PARTY STORE for wrapping paper for my nephew's birthday gift. You get these feelings as a mom, and I had a zolt of a feeling flash through me almost as soon as we turned the corner to head towards PARTY CITY. I happen to glance down over to my left, and there is Jackson in a rather odd slump. He had his shoulders hunched, his body is shaking, and he has silent tears rolling down his face. I stop in the chill of the February NONwarmth, and embrace his body, meanwhile Sullivan is busy kvetching that "They took all the animals away from me!" Jackson begins to sob openly, his voice found, and he is crushed that the store he loved is going going, gone.
As adults, you and I both know about change. Change is difficult. Some of us complain about change and go with the flow, but others have a much harder time keeping up with the currents of change. They become frozen to the past, never appreciating any bit of good about the present.
Regardless of those people that are dubbed the nonchangers, seeing your child feel for a store, feel for the animals, feeling anything, would tug at any mothers heart strings. Because it's up to us, the parents, to teach them about change. To find the good in the change. Even if it's hard to.
"Maybe this store is closing because they plan on growing PETLAND elsewhere in a much bigger store."
"Maybe the store had to close because-"
Who am I kidding, the store closed because it wasn't making enough flow to keep up with the currents of our town, the community, our economy, yadah yadah.
After the tears had settled down, he wanted to talk about it. On the drive to pick up Bigdoggdad from the train, otherwise known as BDD, Jackson needed to chat about it. Chat about why the store didn't make enough money? Why more people didn't buy things in the store? Why didn't the store change their prices? (I told you he's a wise little chap) Why didn't they put out stories about their pets so that people would come and buy them (see? He already gets marketing, too!)?The good news was that by him talking about it with me, the pain was still fresh, but it wasn't as raw as the tears were 20 minutes earlier. He had expressed his concern, he shared his feelings, and then was ready to talk about it in a few short minutes. I'm sure the mini M&M's that I guilted myself into buying for him as a sort of peace offering helped with the change chat too!
All was good until this morning....
You see, he was due to go to the Adler Planetarium with his cousins, aunt and uncle, and his grandparents too! My sister is eliminating the family birthday parties, being that her son is turning 7 next week, and instead opted to treat her son to a fun outing, and being that Jackson is as obsessed with his cousin Jeff as Jeff is with Jackson, my sister asked if Jackson could come with. This would be a surprise to Jeff. Jeff didn't know Jackson was going with them. This was my sisters way of doing something special for her son, instead of having an obnoxious kids party. Instead of the kid Party, and over grown family gatherings, they opted for a trip to the space museum on Lake Shore drive down in Chicago near the lake front. Again it would be my son, my sister and brother in law, their three children ages 7, 5 and almost 2, and Grandma and Grandpa B. Because naturally if you are lucky enough to have grandparents for your children, you include them in the festivities.
Jackson was so excited! He talked about it for the entire week. We went on the website and read up on the exhibits, researched the history of the planetarium, he talked about it every day. Last night before bed, he had his allowance out and ready to be packed into his clothes. He laid out his nice button up blue shirt last night, along with his ironed Khaki pants. He knew that he had to go to bed early because my sister and brother in law would be picking him up by 8:30am Saturday morning. Like a mature man studying wisely for his bar exams, he went to bed earlier then usual despite his excitement for the day ahead.
6:30 this morning, we see our Jackson, the one that sleeps in until about 9am, bound out of bed quietly, already dressed with this allowance already in the pocket of his crisp and dapper button up shirt. He bounds down the stairs with sleepy excitement in his eyes, you know, the kind of gunk glitter that you see in their eyes Christmas morning?
That kind of excitement.
He was ready to have breakfast, and couldn't stop talking about the BLACK HOLE movie that is being shown in one of the oversized 3d type theaters in the museum. Remember, Jackson wants to be an astronaut when he is older. He is fasinated with Space. He can talk with anyone about the black hole, about Pluto being a star, the proper way to say UR-IN-IS, and just about anything that has to do with space.
The phone rings at 6:45am. Now Bigdogg had gone to the grocery store for cream, bread and eggs, so I assumed he'd forgotten something, and decided to wake up the house by the traditional style of the old school ring tone from our home phone.
Nope, it wasn't him. It was my sister, she was calling to cancel.
OH DAMN IT!
Unfortunately her little one that will be 2 in march, became quite ill last night, and spent pretty much all of last night throwing up. Throwing up bile, not drinking fluids, both mom dad and little neph slept on the carpeted floor of their family room. Needless to say, she had to cancel, and I completely understood, but after yesterdays disappointment with Petland, and the actions of the morning, I knew breaking the news wasn't going to be good. I knew he'd be upset, but he'd equally feel bad about his nephew, because my 6 year old has this knack to relate himself to other people. He is able to see pain in others lives, and is empathetic. All in all, he would still be the usual 6 year old and break down in tears. I mean come on, look at how he was with the petstore closing? Now imagine how he'll be when he hears that his future has been cancelled for the day.
At 6:45am? Probably not something you'd like to start your saturday with, right?
I waited for Bigdogg to return from the store so we could go in as a team, and provide support for Jackson, as silly as that sounds. I didn't want to break the news to him without BDD, and no, it wasn't because I didn't want to "be the bad guy," more so because I needed BDD there to give me support because I feared that this set back would crush Jackson worse then the PETLAND STORE closing.
I pulled him, Jackson, up on my lap. He then pulls out his allowance and while showing it to BDD, proud that he had 'that much money' to spend, exclaimed that he "won't spend it all in the gift shop at the museum.."
WINDOW of OPPORTUNITY!!
.."speaking of the museum Jackson, Aunt BLANK called this morning,..." was how I started the conversation...
I told him.
I told him the truth, which is obviously an easy thing to do when it is something as minor as this. I told him that his little cousin is ill, that his aunt and uncle were up all night caring for him, that they would have to postpone the excursion for another time due to the little one catching some flu bug.
Yes Jackson cried.
Yes Jackson was upset.
But yes, he did recover.
He recovered when BDD uttered the magical words, "what can we do to make you feel better about this situation? If we could do anything to help you not be so sad, what would you want us to do...."
Jackson: "Go To Toys R Us and get a Lego.
Welcome To Crustybeef~
I have a feeling Jackson will learn to be okay with change.
As far as the Lego's go, that's still in discussion....
Don't slam me for considering it, I'm a good mom so SHUT IT!