A few nights ago, Nibs and I were outside playing after my partner left for work for the night. It was getting dark, but she was having so much fun playing with her chalk that I decided we could play a little longer.
And then it happened: the first firefly of the season lit up, right above her little head. The smile on her face was huge! She loves bugs - don't all kids? - and she immediately started gibbering about the buggy. And then I caught it. She gasped when I spread my palms and there it sat - lit up, wings spread - it was a perfect moment.
I remember a night just like that one, sitting outside my grandmommy's house, making mud pies or helping granddaddy in the garden. I couldn't have been very old, less than ten. I loved to chase the Fireflys that gathered in the honeysuckle bush on the fence next to the garage. I can smell honeysuckle, the sweet scent mingling with the man-sweat smell of my grandfather. (I will forever associate that smell with manliness, and immense love.). Grandmommy made me a jar to keep my bugs in, a pickle jar probably with holes poked into it with her ice pick, the one granddaddy made for her. (Momma has it now, but someday Ill take it.)
Nibs and I chased fireflies until she was exhausted and we had to go in and brush our teeth and put on jammies. That night, as she lay on my lap, legs dangling, too big, really, I cried. I remembered, in these days of terrible twos and her trying my nerves, why I decided to parent the way I do. I want to chase fireflies. I want, someday, for her to look back on her childhood with fondness.
Never for a minute do I want this precious child I've been given to question that I loved her, that I will always love her, no matter what. I don't want anything to stop me from chasing fireflies, or kissing boo boos, or stopping to s,ell a flower she picks for me, even if its just a weed. I want to be the kind of unconditional love in her life that grandmommy's was for me. So, from here on out, when I'm frustrated, and think I can't stand it anymore...
I'm going to close my eyes, and smell honeysuckle and see fireflies. I'm going to picture my grandmommy and know that 'this too shall pass'.