This is our dog, Calvin. He is a deep well of goodness, this creature.
When we got Calvin three years ago I did not realize how much work was involved in training a large-ish puppy. There were many times we almost fell off the having-dog-and-tiny-kids fan wagon. But now, despite the bouts of uncontrolled barking, or his tendency to knock toddlers down with his tail, or the black fur he sheds all over - despite all of this, I love this dog. He loves me even when I yell at my kids; even when we're really late remembering to feed him. At night he sits down right next to my leg and licks my toes. He lets the kids dress him up in their ballet clothes and use him as a lounge chair. He is incredibly constant.
But people are so good, too. I was thinking about this yesterday, remembering a plane ride from Connecticut to California a few years back when I was flying sans husband with a 3 month old and a wild 3 year old. It was time to board, and I was struggling with the impossible task of wrangling my huge backpack, a bulky car seat, and the kids onto the plane. A couple in front of me - busy with their own young family - made silent eye contact with one another and before I knew it the father turned around and grabbed my car seat from me. Not only did he carry it for me, he strapped it in the seat. And when the plane landed they found me and helped me off the plane. I don't even know if I said thank you, I was so teary.
Melissa has a story, too. One day she, shortly after the birth of her third and overwhelmed with all those tasks that just pile up, answered a knock on her door to find her friend Marcia, her own little baby strapped to a backpack on her shoulders. Marcia informed Melissa that she was there to do yard work and wasn't leaving until she'd finished.