Ladybug Lessons


Yesterday, I opened the door to my back deck into an explosion of ladybugs. Yes, dozens, maybe hundreds, of lucky little black and red insects crawling over railings, siding, table and chairs. What really caught me by surprise was the fluttering of teeny tiny wings up into my face, around my hair and out over the yard. I waved my hands, brushing the pretty pests away, and prayed I wouldn’t insult their lucky charms.

Could this mean we’re in for a lucky spell? A really lucky spell? Like, if the entire backside of my house is covered with ladybugs, maybe we’re in for the lottery, a trip to the South of France, free preschool tuition next year…even a quiet night when the kids miraculously fall asleep early?

I ran through the fluttering wings to safety in the backyard, where my children played unaware of our ladybug intrusion. How many wishes could I manage to make on all these ladybugs? Would random wishes offered into the flurry of multiple wings count? Like when you release a ladybug from your finger, close your eyes, and silently pray for the cute guy to ask you on a date? Okay, that was way back then when I made carefree wishes on ladybugs who chanced to land near me.

Now, I’m a harried mother of two toddlers with the chance to wish upon a hundred ladybugs cavorting around my house. What will it be? How many wishes can I imagine?

Okay, real quick while the kids are playing on the swings, I wish:

  • That they’ll grow old together, laughing and leaning on each other as they do this afternoon.
  • That I’ll let them run around and play carefree, holding back from telling C. to pull up his pants and shouting at S. to BE CAREFUL!
  • That I’ll stop worrying whether they’re eating enough vegetables and bartering dinner for dessert as if it were a hostage negotiation crisis.
  • That I’ll relish the ONE MORE story C. begs me to read before bed instead of wishing I had more time of my own.

I suppose my children are a little like ladybugs. They’re beautiful and precious and they carry a magical aura of all things possible. And sometimes they can just be pests. I guess this afternoon’s fortune is that my little ladybug moment has taken me away from their peskier qualities and back to their beauty.

I did a little research and it turns out, according to The Ladybug Lady, that ladybugs like to hibernate on the south side of light colored houses. Apparently the unusually warm weather has drawn them out in mid-afternoon. Looks like they’ll be with us until Spring.

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