You destroyed the gingerbread house we worked on for hours…

But then you stayed at the edge of my little guy’s bed, guarding against the monsters of the night, and wouldn’t leave his side until he slipped into a sound sleep.

You chewed up my husband’s brand new shoes . . .

But then, in my moment of private grief, you curled on my lap and kissed away my tears.

You always bark your head off at anyone walking by . . .

But you make sure we’re never lonely and always feel protected.

You dig up the backyard . . .

But you never tire of playing with your brothers or taking me for walks or greeting everyone at the front door like your very best friend.

You knock over garbage cans and make terrible messes . . . 

But you’ve brought out a tender, responsible side in my rough-and-tumble boys.

You track mud through the house, fart like an ogre and barf in the car . . . 

Sigh.

You know what? We’re messy and stinky and imperfect, too. Clearly, you’re one of us.

Welcome to the family, you crazy shoe-eating mutt!

Love,

Your Human

Jacqueline Miller

When not worrying about her teenagers, Jacqueline Miller is writing about them. Her recent work appears in Parents.com, HuffPost and The Christian Science Monitor. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.