“What’s wrong?” asked the boy.
His mom sat in a corner of the family room, eyes lowered. A tear was on her cheek.
“Guess what?” said the boy. “We learned something in school today.”
His mom didn’t seem to hear.
“We learned about the stuff that everything is made of. The whole universe is made of atoms.”
The boy stood and thought for a moment.
“A drop of water has so many atoms,” he said, “nobody could count them in a million years. And atoms are always moving around, even though you can’t see them.
“They move with the wind,” he continued. “The atoms in just one drop of water have been everywhere in the world. They come from glaciers and rivers and oceans. They come from clouds and fog and rain, and even rainbows.
“So, you know, tears have been in happy places, too.”
His mom slowly lifted her eyes. She smiled.
“That’s right,” she said.