Yesterday, four of us hung out in the field of many toys (about 2,014 give or take a few. Picture Fred Sanford’s yard and replace the junk with toys.) and creatures, our backyard. Our party consisted of daughter, son, dog and daddy (me). A somewhat diverse group of individuals who happen to share the same blood, but let’s leave lunch out of this. Oh yeah, dog’s not related by blood. He’s adopted. We’ve tried telling him, but he acts like he doesn’t understand. It’s not like we don’t love him like our own flesh and blood. Truthfully we don’t, but he doesn’t need to know that.
It started out as a normal afternoon. The kids were playing inside their gigundous freshly painted (good job wife and m-i-l) playhouse with the door closed. Daughter always insists that the door be closed “so you don’t see us, daddy.” Like I wanted to see anyway (enough pouting, let’s move on). The crying was kept to short immediate bursts that ended quickly so I didn’t need to get involved. Survival of the fittest… to a point.
Son escaped from the playhouse and soon daughter followed. I kept a close eye on the two of them from a strategically placed Adirondack chair. Comfort with a great vantage point.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw something move on the table next to my chair. It was a ladybug. Brown with black spots. If it was supposed to be red it must have been left out in the rain too often because all the bright color must have run.
I called to my daughter, who happenned to be enjoying some delicious plastic grapes while pretending to be a hippo. She looked at me with a “what the hell do you want?” expression until I told her that I had something to show her. She dropped the grapes onto the ground (they were immediately scooped up by son) and crawled toward me. Halfway over she decided to be herself again and ran the rest of the way.
“What you have, daddy?” I always show her cool things so she expected it to be something good.
“Look at the ladybug,” I said.
“Put it on me.” She loves bugs crawling on her. I guess it’s better than the alternative; being afraid of everything.
I let the ladybug crawl onto a leaf and then she held the leaf until it crawled on her arm. She giggled so loud that I thought I wet my pants. Huh! Nevermind.
She put her arm next to mine and our little friend crawled on my arm. Unlike her, I don’t particularly enjoy this activity, except for seeing how much she likes it. The thing wiggled its many legs up my arm until I decided she could have another turn. The look on daughter’s face was amazing. I saw pure joy. Behind her I heard a loud “oooohhh!” It was son. He just got a glimpse of the ladybug. I didn’t let it crawl on him because it would probably be crushed or eaten in a matter of a second.
After a short period of time daughter and I released our new found friend on a blade of grass. We both smiled as we did this. Son had wandered over to torture dog a minute earlier. Another fine day with the kids (dog falls under that category, too).