such big hearts in little bodies

Our son has a pet aquatic frog. He brought it home from school (it was a gift from a long-term substitute teacher) about six weeks ago. Its–his–name is Mr. Toady. He’s sweet. I like him. Our son or daughter feed him twice a day, and I clean his little water home once a week. I’ve grown attached. Our son is attached. While we were away, up north looking for a future home, our neighbor and dear friend took care of Mr. Toady. And our son, daily, cried, missing the frog. He’d sit there, quietly at breakfast or lunch, trying to hold back tears. His big sister would say, “I know what’s wrong. He misses Mr. Toady.” She was always right. So much love pours out of him. Attachment.

Our daughter was up later this evening. My husband is out of town and I was sitting on the couch working, while watching a “Flipping Out” marathon. She joined me and we watched last season’s finale episode. [spoiler alert] Jeff Lewis learned that his cat, Monkey, raised by Lewis from 8 weeks of age, was very old, very ill, and needed to be put down. I was typing away, and then I noticed our girl. Sobbing. I put my laptop down and hugged her so hard. “When we get a dog I don’t want that to ever happen,” she cried. And then a million questions. Through so many silent tears.

“When you’re so sad, it just means your heart is so strong,” I said.

It’s all I could come up with.

Our kids are so… loving. I know, all kids are. It just moves me. Watching them love, and feel.

I’ve told my husband that we have to figure out a way to transport Mr. Toady with us when we move. (We’d initially thought we’d leave him with a kind friend who could offer a new home.). And I need to find the healthiest, longest-living, least likely to-get-sick dog breed to join our family.

Their hearts are stronger than mine, I think.

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