I spy a Firefly

This morning it was all Mommy all the time. From the moment Caroline was placed at the top of the steps and the gate was closed behind her, she wanted me to talk to her, hold her, adore her. As much I wanted to drop my hairbrush and mascara to dote on my sweetness, today is actually Wednesday and I am required to be at work. Sure, I don’t HAVE to wear mascara or have my hair done nicely, but it is part of my professional uniform, so Little Miss Needs Love needed to wait.

Steve did his very best to comfort her while I finished getting ready, but you can only do so much while your daughter pushes you away and extends her arms to the only adult currently unable to hold her. While mornings like these can be stressful, I try to take a moment to revel in her affection. It won’t be forever that only Mommy will do.

Last night we scratched a really important thing off the 101 list (down at the bottom of this page). We caught fireflies together. It might seem pretty insignificant, but to me, this was a very special moment. I have vivid meaningful memories of chasing fireflies at dusk in my own backyard. In fact, chasing these slow bugs reminds me of the summer vacations of my young life when time was slow, responsibilities few, and the goal of each day was to have fun (and also beat our neighbors at a game of pitch which we did exactly every single day of every summer. I had the best partner ever in my brother). I cleaned out a little plastic container that once held Belgian Chocolates (not nearly as good as peanut butter cups!), removed the paper labels for visibility, and left it by the front door waiting for the right night to properly introduce my daughter to summer.

We went to the town concert last night on the green and Caroline was cranky and exhausted. When we arrived home it was after 7:30 and dusk was settling in. I seized this most perfect opportunity, took her by the hand, and we waited in the front yard for the fireflies to make their appearance. It wasn’t long before we spotted one and had him corralled into my makeshift firefly jar. Caroline studied it, pointed at it, listened to me explain that fireflies are special, that we only see them on perfect summer nights, and that if we are lucky enough to catch one we also need to respect it and release it. The first one wouldn’t fly out of the container, so I lightly blew on it and off it went. We caught a second one that came flashing by and when we released this one my daughter blew gently into the container and watched as the firefly flew off and into a neighboring yard.

Seems so simple. Seems silly even, but to me it was perfect. I see many years of firefly catching ahead of my daughter and I hope that summer nights lit up by slow moving bugs will come to remind her of the lazy perfect summer days of her childhood too.


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