Yesterday morning we suffered a loss in our family, and we had to say good-bye. While Cole was eating breakfast his brother and sister were arguing as usual. Annalisa suddenly yelled at me that Cole was crying. I immediately thought that Jacob must have said something mean to him, but normally Cole just gets him right back, so I looked into the dining room to the tear-streaked face of my oldest child. I asked him what was wrong and he just hung his head while continuing to cry. I was pretty concerned at that moment, so I asked him again what was wrong. He then held up his head and said, "Rodriguez died last night." He left the table to go cry some more. I was puzzled, and went to him...."How do you know he died?" I asked. "Because he wouldn't move when I checked on him." Now there were LOTS more tears. We had been concerned about Rodriguez for about a week because he hadn't been acting like his normal self. We got him some crickets to eat even though it wasn't really his feeding time, and although he is normally super excited for crickets to be in his home, this time he didn't even move. He acted as if none were there, but the next morning he was getting up and moving around a lot more. Cole was even excited that he had turned back to his green color--sometimes he was brown depending on the humidity in the house. Ben and I hadn't felt like Rodriguez would make it much longer--even though we had read that White's Tree Frogs can live up to 15 years. Cole was going on having Rod for 4 years--alot for a 10 year old! My biggest fear was that Cole would find him dead, and I didn' t know how he would deal with that--I also didn't want him to HAVE to deal with that. What can I say? I am still his mom, and it is in my blood to want to shelter him from those kinds of things, but this time I missed it. When I went to check on Rod he was definitely dead. Annalisa started crying too about how she LOVED Rodgrievous (she never was able to say his name correctly), but Jacob was just matter-of-fact about the whole thing and very uncaring about Cole's feelings. He said things like, "Oh, gross! He looks so bad! Why do his eyes look like that? Why is his foot stuck like that? Where is all of his color?" and lots of other quetions that just upset Cole. Ben fashioned a box for us to bury Rodriguez in, and after we carefully wrapped him then put him in it we buried him in the backyard. Cole cried the whole time, but Annalisa had nice words to say for Rod. Today as we went to church Cole told me he was still sad, but after church he told me he had worked through his sadness. He said that now he thinks he can talk about it without crying. He may even want to replace Rodriguez at some point. I am so proud of him, but I am sorry that he has had to learn about loss at such a young age. He took very good care of Rodriguez while he was alive, and I told him that Rod had many adventures (moving to Colorado from Texas, moving while in Colorado, staying with Nanny for a week, etc) that other frogs only dream about!! He lived a full life!!