During the last week of Conor’s preschool in June, as part of a long standing tradition, hundreds of ladybugs were released into the air. Seeing the joy in Conor and so many other children’s eyes brought me back to a time close to 5 years ago when we were in Muir Woods just outside of San Francisco and Conor was 3 months old. It’s a magical sort of place, with its commanding presence of redwoods and vitality of life with the many creatures big and small that call it home. Going there has always inspired me to BE who I should be and think nothing is too big too dream. After all, these trees are 600-1,200 years old and miraculously are still standing outside one of the biggest US cities.
We’d been there several times before, yet going there as a new Mommy with a precious baby to my chest, gave it a whole new meaning. On this particular trip, it was the ladybug’s presence who was commanding with their numbers and beauty. I remember thinking how lucky we were to see this kind of magic occurring around us. Whether they cast their net over us and blessed us with good fortune, I’ll never know, but I can’t help thinking back on that day as one in a million. Here Tommy and I were with our 1st child, making our way and discovering new paths to follow when we came upon thousands of ladybugs, doing the very same thing.
Now almost 5 years later, our 3 month old will be turning 5 in September, our lil girl will be 3 in September and our baby, who was just a newborn a year ago will be 18 months old this fall. It’s astounding how much life has changed for us in such a short period of time. Gone are the days of sleeping till Noon and going out on a whim, while staying are the days like this one at Conor’s school when they released their own magic into the world. Do you see that smile? The joy each of the children experienced and we, as well, as parents, was mesmerizing. It was a wonder to witness and the day became just a little bit brighter afterwards, just like that day back in Muir Woods in December 2007.
Ladybugs are a good luck charm in many cultures. What bug could we love more than the seven-spotted ladybug, with its shiny, red-and-black body. Hard to believe their life cycle from egg to adult is a month and then they usually only live for 1-2 years. Life. It seems to come at us so fast at times that it’s hard to take a minute to enjoy the seemingly small stuff, yet our kids have it mastered. The wonder of the world, the magic of it all, it’s all around us everyday. We just have to stop and take a peak.
It is said that if a ladybug is held in your hand while making a wish, the direction that it flies away to shows where your luck will come from. That day back in 2007 and a couple weeks back in 2012, the ladies flew in all directions, spreading their magical essence all around us and I can only hope that our next 5 years will be as amazing and magical as the first 5 years.