Your children fart. They burp. They pick their nose and expectantly hand you their nasal treasure. They vomit on you. They pee on the floor and sometimes, they even poop in the tub. They whine and scream and ask a million things of you as you valiantly (and futilely) juggle another million things.
Sometimes those things land on your foot.
They cry about raisins. They demand popsicles. They expect timely service.
They rob you of sleep. They come to you at four in the morning because their stuffed animal fell on the floor. Because their leg aches. Because they are thirsty. By God they come to you and come to you and come to you until you fear you will beat your head against the wall and fall to the floor in a sniveling heap.
Then one night, you go to the store to buy bird seed and you see a gray cat lying on a shelf right above you and you freeze. It looks exactly like the cat you had to put down the summer before.
The teenage shop worker catches you, choked up and sniveling, as you try to pick out bird seed. You lamely tell him that the store's cat looks like your own cat.
You say you're all set. You leave the store. You don't tell anyone.
That night, as you are putting your child to bed, out of nowhere he says this:
"Mom, the cat said something to my brain tonight."
"He said thank you for taking him to the vet that day. He was in a lot of pain and now he is running around in Heaven and he's happy."
You tell your son that that is a wonderful thought to have in his brain. You hug him, and he is toothpaste and sunscreen and spring sun and a small warm back, and you fall in love all over again with life and love.
You forgive the farts.