July 8, 2017
I didn’t know that you can buy a little plastic house and a chia seed garden for roll poly bugs. As a boy, we used to move rocks to catch them and roll them into little balls. But we didn’t keep them, and certainly didn’t provide room and board for them. Things have come a long way since I was a kid, as evidenced by our granddaughter Gemma’s roly poly bug house. Her bug even had babies while under her care. I couldn’t see them, but her parents assured me they were there. I say “were,” because after showing us her bug house, Gemma went out on the front porch, tipped the house upside down, and shook her bug and babies out. I don’t think she meant it as much a liberation as just being done with them for now.
Her mother schooled her on the difference between an arachnid and an insect. Gemma’s response was that there really wasn’t much difference because they both squished when she stepped on them. Hard to beat that kind of logic.
I’ve read that there are more species of insects than any other kind of animal life, which is good to know if you intend as Gemma does, to be a bug scientist. If that day ever comes, it will be our loss when she has to refer to the object of her investigations as insects, rather than bugs. Bug sounds much more interesting, and Gemma bug is as interesting as it gets. Tonight I am grateful for her five-year-old curiosity and her more than five-year-old thinking processes. Most of all, I am thankful for her childish sense of wonder. We would do well to cultivate a bit more of it in our lives, but until we do, the next best thing is to see life through the eyes of a child. We get that opportunity regularly, for which I am thankful tonight.