Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"It's always worth it"

One summer night, not long ago, we finally pulled into the driveway right about dusk, after eating dinner and then grocery shopping before eventually coming home.

And Jena spotted them immediately. The "flashing bugs" (really, isn't that much more accurate than lightening bugs anyway?)

She asked if she could catch one.

My body slumped, I sighed silently. We were already way late getting home. She needed a bath. And it was a weeknight, meaning if I had any chance of her waking up in time in the morning and her not being a complete grumpy butt, we needed to get inside and start the nighttime routine, like five minutes ago.

And then I looked at her face. She was so excited at the prospect of being able to catch a flashing bug. The anticipation of the joy that little insect would bring was billboarded across her little face.

And at that exact same moment, Kelle Hampton's words from a blog post that really touched me came back to haunt me (it wasn't the first time, it wouldn't be the last): "It's always worth it."

"Of course we can catch some flashing bugs."

I got her out of the car and set her on her way under the watchful eyes of our dogs as I carried items into the house.

In & out I went, several times, smiling as I watched her meander her way through our expanse of a front yard, following the path of the flashing bugs.

After what seemed like too long about five minutes I was done unloading the car, and went outside, just to watch.

She walked, and pranced, and I swear sometimes danced, and followed one bug all the way down to the edge of the woods. It was the farthest she had ever been away from a grown-up while exploring our property. But I didn't move. I had full view of her, she was perfectly safe.

Although Buddy did become quite nervous at her being so far away, and left my side to go to "work", watching his charge. {{sigh}} I love the dog that protects my child.

Anyway, Jason pulled into the driveway soon after, which brought a squealing Jena running up from the edge of the woods.

She never caught a flashing bug.

I managed to catch one close to the house, but before I could transfer it to her hand, it flew away, higher than any of us could reach.

We went inside, and started our nighttime routine. Very, very late.

She got to bed late that night. And awoke cranky the next morning. And I was certainly exhausted.

But, oh... the joy of watching my daughter chase flashing bugs on a perfect summer evening....

Yep. It's always worth it.


Marianne said...

Love Kelle Hampton, was just reading her blog before I came to yours. Her writing is beautiful and her photography skills are amazing. I found her blog when Nella was born - she's inspiring!

Melissa said...

You are so right!!! I had tears in my eyes reading this and thinking back on all of those memories. Isn't it amazing how the little things in life we take for granted are so amazingly wonderful through the eyes of kids. Natalie has become an old pro at catching those little flashing bugs this year, but still squeals for joy every time, just like it was the first. Bradley has managed to catch and squish a few, but mostly just loves chasing them around the yard with the look of pure joy on his face. Thanks for sharing, and reminding me to stop and let my kids be kids, it is always worth it!

Gina said...

Truer words have never been spoken!

Mrs. L said...

This seems just like a scene from a poem... Lovely, and it must have been a joy to see your daughter with thousands of lights above her...

Cyndy Bush said...

What a great post. It always feels so good to stop and enjoy the moment.
My son used to call them "flashlight bugs".
(he's 18 now....)

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