I’m driving my eight year old daughter to school. In tow is the six year old girl(now on summer vacation), the five year old girl, the three year old boy, and the almost one year old baby. I don’t know when they stop being babies but I’m not ready to start calling her a kid, a child, or one of the gang. She’s the baby.
Anyway, I’m driving and enjoying my morning grumble when I’m interrupted by a screech -you know the kind that only little girls can make. What? What? I’m spinning my head around. What?
In eardrum shattering unison: “THERE’S A BUG IN THE VAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
I look around when we get to the Stop sign. Now there is a bug. Technically, they weren’t lying. But this bug is tiny. I mean tiny. And it’s not even flying. It’s just sitting up there on the ceiling of the van.
Now, we spend a lot of time outdoors and they don’t really care so much about bugs outside but the moment one steps indoors, bugs seem to take on a malicious intent couple with increased powers unsuspected by even the wisest entomologists.
I told them I’d take care of “the monster” when we got to the school. My mock went undetected as every eye in the van was on the bug. If I wasn’t going to help destroy the bug they clearly had no time for me at all. So I start driving again when I’m pretty sure the bug twitched it’s tentacle because the screech began to build once again.
I look at them in the rear view mirror with my best scolding face when my five year old girl stares calmly back at me and says “Dad, just pull over for a second.”
We were on a neighborhood road so I did. I’m a very obedient father. As we stop my five year old unbuckles and suddenly whips her hand up to the ceiling and squishes the bug between her fingers, wipes her fingers with a tissue, and calmly sits back down, and buckles herself back up. Well the other children looked at her with a mixture of disgust and awe as if she’d descended from the mountain with two tablets filled with bad news.
“You see,” she said calmly to her siblings. “There’s nothing to be afraid of. Bugs can’t hurt us. They’re just God’s creatures.”
The six year old agreed, now sharing in her sister’s courageous glow, “My teacher told me that even bugs are God’s creatures.”
“They’re all God’s creatures,” spake the five year old. “Except we can squish them.”