It was when my son darted out of the bathroom with his shoulders hunched like he was protecting a football, that I noticed the animal clinic in the living room was treating patients at the same rate we were running out of toilet paper.
Stuffed puppies and kitties were spread across couches in critical condition. Easter bunnies of every size had sore feet. But the cure, I noted, had been found in toilet paper. Lots. Of toilet paper.
My daughter held out her arms for me to see the near-body cast she’d prepared for her brother’s puppy. I stroked what I could find of its fake fur.
But I didn’t grasp my daughter’s heart for what she was doing until…
until she asked hours later from the backseat of the van, “do you know what you could buy me for my birthday, mommy?”
I shook my head. I didn’t know.
“My own roll of toilet paper.”
I was slow to follow. So she continued.
“So I can take care of all my animals.”
I got it.
Toilet paper. For her animals.
I don’t know where this child came from. Only that I suddenly want to give her all she never asked for.