Jet snuggled next to me as we played a matching game. The dog lay wedged into the available space on my other side. A sudden shadow and loud thump on the window interrupted the pleasant moment. Jet began to wail, sending Marcy running to the window with protective, warning barking.
‘Everything’s okay,” I told Jet as I patted her back, “I think a bird hit the window. Grandma will check it.” “Gramma check it,” she repeated through her sobs as I went to the window. Thankfully, no dead birds lay on the front porch. “The bird is gone, it flew away,” I told her.
“Bird hit window, bird hit window, bird hit window,” she cried with increasing volume.
“Everything is fine. The bird is gone. It’s okay!” I repeated more firmly.
Jet was on auto-repeat: “Bird. Window. Hit. Window. Bird hit window. Bird hit window. Bird hit window….”
I waived my hands in daycare sign language for “all done.” “The bird is gone. All done bird! The bird flew away!” I wasn’t sure whether she was frightened, concerned about possible injury to the bird, or simply in the middle of a crying jag. I hugged her to my chest and patted her back until her tears dampened my shirt.
“Bird all done! Bird done,” became Jet’s new mantra, but the sobbing continued.
“Grandma doesn’t know how to help you feel better,” I said. “I think you’ve cried enough, though. Let’s go outside and play with the water.
The corners of her mouth quivered, but her interest was caught. “Outside water?” she asked. “Yes, let’s go outside and play in the water.” I gathered a large bucket and some smaller pails and we headed toward the back door.