Last night Otis and I were at my parents’ house walking around the backyard mostly because it was beautiful last night, but also because Otis had made it known in his own subtle way that he’d much prefer to be outside. Call me a pushover, I don’t care. It really was a great evening to hang out outside, so I just agreed with the 2-year old and went on with my bad self.
Otis raced up and down the driveway in his little car, and as I stood there watching him I saw a lightning bug fly by. I immediately reached out to catch it.
“Look, Otis! Mommy caught a lightning bug!”
He stopped came over to investigate, and giggled with excitement. That’s right, O-bear, your mom is a regular Lightning Bug Wrangler.
I let the little bug start to fly and then caught it again. Otis squealed. Rinse and repeat.
“Hey, let’s go find more lightning bugs, Goose.”
He grabbed my finger and walked slowly into my parents’ now barely lit backyard.
I realized in that moment that I was introducing my son to lightning bugs on the same dirt that I was introduced to them. All of a sudden the ground felt holy.
I remembered how magical lightning bugs seemed to me back then. I remembered that when I was little they were everywhere, and now they were almost extinct. But last night, they were back. I could see them again.
This is one of the best parts of being a parent, in my opinion. We get to see the magic again. We get to believe in Santa and see clouds of lightning bugs. We get rediscover the petting zoo and the amazeballs feeling of playing in a sprinkler on a hot day. We get to laugh at silly faces. We get to make silly faces.
We get to be kids again. But with money. And the ability to stay up past 9 reading any Babysitter Club book you want.
You guys. Does it get better?
So thank you, Otis, for helping me see the magic in life one more time.