My only concern with this book in particular was *SPOILER ALERT* that Charlotte dies in the end. Lottie is an animal lover; that kid would take care of any non-human living being that she could find. I was afraid that Lottie would get too emotional over Charlotte's death and wonder why on earth her cruel and unusual parents had subjected her to such torture. Turns out I didn't need to worry at all.
When we came to the pivotal chapter, I began to read, anticipating lots of tears: Lottie's and my own. She seemed to understand that Charlotte was growing weaker and dying, but her main concern was for Wilbur. Would he be sad? Did he know what was happening to Charlotte? Did Wilbur have other friends? All of a sudden, a big smile came to her face.
"Mama, I know why Wilbur shouldn't be sad or worried!!!!"
"Because Charlotte will be waiting for him in Heaven!!"
I give all credit for her epiphany to Good Shepherd Day School. In general, we're not a religious family. We don't go to church, even on the big holidays. We don't really talk too much about God or religion to the kids. It's not that Trevor and I are necessarily against religion as a whole, but it's not a focus of our lives. I'm actually glad that Lottie and Dallas are learning about faith in school; I want them to be exposed to lots of different viewpoints before they decide what to believe. I mean, I'm thirty-eight years old, and I'm still not entirely sure of what I believe. However, I have to agree with Lottie that Charlotte was waiting to welcome Wilbur when it was finally his time to die, and I think Wilbur knew that in his heart as well. After all, death isn't really about the person who died; it's more about the people who are left behind. And if it comforts someone, anyone, to feel that his loved one will be waiting, than let it be.
On a completely unrelated yet hilarious note, Lottie wore two pairs of underwear to the park today. When I asked her why, she looked confused and then laughed. In her haste to get dressed, she hadn't taken off her other pair, just slipped the new pair on right over the top. That's the kind of bizarre we have every day chez Wells. I'm never bored.