The sun shone brightly through the window onto the small plate of juicy oranges. His chubby hands grabbed a slippery wedge.
"Oh look, Mom, a lady bug by my orange!"
"Yep, Noah. There's a lady bug."
Our heads bent down low. The ladybug was struggling. The young boy pinched the bug and placed it in his open palm. It lay lifeless, a tiny red and black ball.
"Oh Mom! It's dead!" Mom, not wanting to encourage too much drama said, "Well son, everyone dies eventually."
"Poor little ladybug!" Noah exclaimed.
He walked outside into the sunshine and dug a little hole with his finger. Gently, he placed the ladybug into the hole, covered it with dirt, and patted it down. "Guess we need to have a funeral, Mom."
"I need a rock." He picked up a small rock the size of a quarter and a big crayon. Then he asked, "Mom, How do you spell THE?"
"Now, how do you spell ladybug?"
"L-A-D," I began.
"Wait mom, I need a bigger rock." Noah threw the quarter sized rock across the yard and picked up another about the size of a football. "K, Mom. How do you spell it again?"
In his own special scrawl, Noah wrote, "The Ladybug" on the rock and placed it on top of the tiny spot.
We spent the afternoon catching and releasing ladybugs and talking about what would make a good pet in our "no pets allowed" apartment. We scratched off ladybugs because they were so friendly. It was hard not to let them walk all over you and fly away. We checked off birds because we didn't have a good enough cage and the nests around the house are still empty...no new families in residence yet. Hm, what would make a nice pet?
"I know Mom! I'll get a bumblebee for a pet!"
I replied, "Well, Love, I don't think bumblebees like to be petted."
"My bumblebee will like it. His name will be Tom."
His sisters were out on an adventure. They returned just then with a bouquet of weeds and flowers and a small "box-cage." It was a box with a lid that closed, only it was made out of chicken wire, so it resembled a cage: the perfect home for a bumblebee according to all the children. Naomi painted it red and Sophia provided the flowers.
Then, just like that, a giant...yes a giant...bumblebee came buzzing about.
"Hi Tom. I've been waiting for you!" said Noah. Sophia went running about, afraid of being stung. Naomi jumped up and down saying "Catch it, Noah, Catch it!"
The life of a five year old...so simple.