Well, we finally did it. We adopted a kitten on Saturday. His name is Pippin. (I chose the name. My kids immediately recognized the reference. Some others, on the other hand, did not. "Scotty Pippin?" one boy asked. No, no. We are literary, here, in our house, not sports fans.)
Anyway, he is sweet and cute and feisty and purry and everything a kitten should be. I have enjoyed bonding with him. More, though, I have enjoyed the fantastic high of seeing my little boys bond with him. Each has had his own way. There's Alex, quiet, disappearing into Pippin's room every chance he gets, sitting quietly in a corner while the kitten makes his way to him, which he always does. Then there's Ben, eagerly seeking him and playing with him, probably the most tender-hearted, coming to tell me with tears in his eyes how sad and lonely Pippin looked when he had to be shut in the room alone at night. Jon makes shy advances and quick retreats. Peter is terrified of him but, from across the room, speaks to him as if to a baby, repeating in a high voice whatever he hears me or Alex say to the cat.
From Alex: "Mom, will we get Pippin sealed to our family?"
Oh, this, THIS is why children should have pets. I can actually hear their hearts growing, stretching, softening. Love, love, my children--love with all your might!