I never really understood the book, Stuart Little. I mean, a mouse that becomes part of a family? It just didn't make sense. I couldn't believe that a 2-ounce rodent could steal it's way into a person's heart - even if he could talk!
Then Anna picked Fuzzy. Fuzzy was the Dwarf Russian White Hamster that Anna chose for her 10th birthday. Only the funny thing was, Anna didn't really pick Fuzzy, Fuzzy picked her. When Anna reached into the box of baby hamsters at the pet store, Fuzzy crawled right out of her litter and into Anna's hands - an unusual act of friendship for an animal so small.
As time went on, I began to push aside my skeptical thoughts and started picking up Fuzzy for a moment - talking to her - saying good-night to first her and then Anna. As I learned to love Anna's hamster, I was learning to love Anna just a little bit more.
And so, this morning, after we discovered that Fuzzy had passed away quietly in her sleep, I found myself needing to to give the ridiculous explanation to the other moms at the middle school car wash as to why my sunglasses covered tears. A small little mouse-like creature had breathed it's last breath and I couldn't contain my sadness.
Later this morning, we gathered as a family around the piano and sang Michael Jackson's song, "Ben." We put Fuzzy in a padded box and buried her next to the sitting rock in our back yard.
It made me think. It this what motherhood is all about? Does becoming a mother require us to open our hearts so wide that even a tiny mouse could sneak in?
Before I met Fuzzy, I could never have imagined one day crying over a mouse. Before having kids, I could never have imagined loving someone so helpless, so completely. And if opening my heart to a hamster enables me to love my child just a little bit more, then so be it. It's certainly a risk worth taking.
We'll miss you, Fuzzy!