So after I discovered Lily’s first letter on my pillow a few weeks ago, I walked it downstairs to Marc and said, “I think it’s time.” He agreed.

The next morning, I promised Lily we’d sit down and talk about her letter over the weekend (which was only two days away, for the record). In the span of that 48 hours (the longest of her life, I imagine), she launched phase two of her campaign: ply the parents with facts.

On my pillow for the next two days appeared pro and con lists, a venn diagram, a drawing of the cage with dimensions, and pages (upon pages) of her hand-written research on everything from “guinea pig care” to “if you go on a trip,” in which she assured us “Don’t worry. I have the answers to all your quesntons. And believe me I can do this!”

Then, on that Friday night, came the final letter of appeal:

Dear Mommy and Daddy,

If you thoght my letter was not perswaseve I relly want a guniea pig. I have done all of the reserch and I have drawn a lot of picshors of all our addvenchers. So, please, please, please, I relly need this.

Love,
Lily
((hand-drawn picture of a guinea pig with a conversation bubble that says “I want to be with Lily!”))

Because we are not heartless, and because she has proven herself to be a responsible, caring kid, we are (of course) getting her a guinea pig. We sat her down that Saturday and told her the news, and she beamed. She had answers for every single one of our questions. She was REDDY, after all.

Then I got the flu and our plans stalled out. Lily came to me in the middle of that ordeal last week, approaching the bed with concern in her eyes, and I thought she was going to ask me how I was feeling. Nope. She said, “Mommy, are we not going to get a guinea pig because you’re sick now?” I assured her that the plan was still on, and that as soon as I could hold my head up, I’d call the vet to talk about the best place to find our new pet.

In the meantime, Marc had found a great cage on Craig’s List. And as soon as the vet referred me to a couple of rescue websites, Lily hopped online and found her guy. We picked him up tonight, but he is too scared to make his photo debut. Sophie was devastated that she couldn’t hold him. Lily sat by the cage and patiently sang to him, trying to lure him out of his igloo with treats. Because, of course, she had researched ways to make guinea pigs comfortable in their new homes.

Tomorrow (I hope) you’ll get to meet the newest member of our family. I can tell you that he is one of the cutest things I have ever seen.

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