Thank God The Mom wasn't in the car. This was way worse than running over that pigeon.
The pigeon was really a non-issue. I didn't exactly run over it as much as I helped it along its way. I drove through a crowd of pigeons, and when they dispersed, one just happened to fly in the same direction as my car. Although I was driving slowly, the pigeon was flying more slowly, so naturally I helped it along its way for a while. Like a wave helping a surfer. And it was fine until The Mom asked, loudly enough for the back seat to hear, "Did you just hit that pigeon?"
The Mom is always saying stuff like that.
But this time was worse. The running squirrel was very visible to the taller elements of the back seat. The sudden braking was very noticeable as well. So was the thump-bump.
Kathryn is, shall we say, a sensitive child. She doesn't deal well with tragedy or death. Kathryn firmly believes that chicken nuggets are a product of chickens in much the same way that eggs are. At dinner the other night she entertained us all with a very detailed and convincing picture of farm hands going out in the morning, baskets in hand, to collect the nuggets. Tell her otherwise and there will be hell to pay. Big, nasty hell.
So I was surprised at how well Kathryn handled the squirrel-flattening incident. She understood that it was an accident, and an unavoidable one at that. Still, I'm waiting for the question. She won't ask it tonight; she likes to ruminate a while, waiting until at least one twin is in mortal danger before asking, but she'll ask it soon. Perhaps two days from now, maybe as Victoria stands on Lila's head to get to the hot coffee cup that's just out of reach, Kathryn will turn to me and ask, "Daddy? Do squirrels go to heaven?"
Of course they do, Kathryn. Of course. They all go to heaven, where they feast on heavenly berries and nuts and chicken nuggets, fresh from the basket.