I was sitting on the patio with my children surrounding me. They were spotting fireflies in the early summer evening. The feeling was content, and he light breeze in the air was like a sigh at the end of an energy-filled day.
The children’s excitement was palpable, for every time a firefly lit up, they were squealed with delight.
I marveled at how such a little incident could trigger such joy.
It was only much later in the evening, after the exhausting, yet satisfying, routine of dinner, bath time, and bedtime that I thought about the events of the day.
My thoughts kept returning to the pure joy of the children’s fascination with fireflies. They ran around the yard trying to catch one in order to inspect it up close. They reassured me that they weren’t going to hurt it, they just wanted to see its details.
Their curiosity enveloped them and me as they asked a myriad of questions. Before I could answer, the next question was already being articulated. Where do they live? What do they eat? Where does that light come from? Do they change colors? Can we keep one? Why? What do you mean they only live a short while?
At this I almost felt sorry for answering- their disappointment was sincere and heartwarming.
As I thought about these occurrences, it dawned on me how these seemingly small events have a deeper message to share. Just as these moments with the fireflies flutter by, so too my children’s lives are mine to shape for a short while. I must remember to do so delicately, to pay attention to detail, so that its importance is truly felt. Every time they shine and light up, just like the fireflies, it is a cause for a small celebration. My children want, no, they NEED, me to celebrate their glowing moments. “Look, Mommy! See what I made?” “Very nice”—that is NOT enough. I am retraining myself to look at the details, to embrace them, and celebrate them.
These are my little fireflies, and I will only be privileged to watch them shine if I take the time to look.