Needless to say, it was an unusual way to come to one's senses.
There are many reasons I'd refuse to get out of bed in the early darkness, but the death of a pet is not one of them. With my own memories of tears shed over tiny, stiff rabbits, I felt very tenderly toward Izzy's sorrow, even though it entailed locating a proper casket, taping it shut to her exact specifications, and making a trip into the biting cold desert at 6:00 in the morning.
Sometimes you just have to do these things. You have to freeze your head off while scouting for proper burial grounds, you have to get on your hands and knees and dig through bedrock, you have to search for just the right stones to build a monument. And if you don't want to do these things, you look at the tears welling in your daughter's enormous blue eyes and remember the first time you felt such a loss, how difficult it was to accept, how bitterly impossible to pretend everything became in that moment.
And afterward, what could make things better than a cup of hot chocolate and a trip to the pet store? Why, as it happens, very little indeed. And we are now happily making the acquaintance of one Mr. Viotti, who would almost certainly stop to show you his pretty manners if only he could just shove this pretzel in his mouth first.
But as for Caroline, however, on that topic I could regale you for quite some time. She came into the room this morning, surveyed her reflection in the mirror and announced, "This outfit needs a flower!" Then she rummaged through a bag of accessories, came up with this turquoise bloom, and plopped it on her head.
"There," she said, regarding herself with immense satisfaction, "Much better."
Oh, dear Caroline--much better, indeed.
Throughout this weekend of food, family, and fun, we've found a few moments to celebrate Caroline's birthday. There have been gifts and singing, cake and cousins. Really, is there anything better than cake and cousins? Dear reader, if you could only see how many cousins are on the loose around here, you would surely lock your doors and draw the curtains.
But I rather expect they'd hardly notice. They're too busy having a grand old time.