As I’ve grown older, I’ve developed a profound respect for those people who love the “unloveable”.

The people who can look beyond the drawbacks of mental illness and see the person struggling to overcome it–and love them.

The people who can look beyond a physical abnormality, or a personality defect, and see all that is good and noble inside.

And the people like Kane, who can look at slimy, scaly, sticky things with bizarre mating habits and outrageous peen, and not only proclaim his love but make them good homes and keep them happy.

This is the second year my friend has hired the “bug lady” to come with her portable zoo and let the little kids touch the “untouchable” animals.

Last year, devastated by the tragedy in Orlando at the Pulse Nightclub which had happened the night before, I was forced to ask myself, why is it so hard for humans to see past the ugly dogma of “odd” or the “different” and see to the beautiful humans inside?  Especially when this happy young woman could hold a sticky frog or a ridged lizard or even a Vinegaroon (*shudder*) and see something lovely and perfect and love it.

This year, the tragedy wasn’t quite so sharp in my mind, but the wonder she had in all of the animals–that was still infectious and lovely.

And Chicken, Squish, and ZoomBoy thought so too.

Chicken and I got to hold Christian, the large Bearded Lizard (Tad Cooper!) for a long time, and when Christian was done with me, I got to hold the big Enchilada, the monitor, for a good ten minutes. We both fell in love. Complete and total love. Whenever Enchilada blepped, his tongue tickled my armpit. It was adorable.

I will continue to hold amazing love for the people who can look beyond what we’re “supposed” to love and find the beauty inside all living things.

And I will continue to marvel that as I let my mind and heart expand, I am sometimes much like those people–happiest when I am with my fellow lizards.

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