The Incredible Sweetness of Being, Part Two

Cadence Spots a Ladybug

The Ladybug Lounge

“Lala,” my grandson Cadence says. “I see a beetle in the window.”

I’m sitting on the loveseat, sipping water and sorting grocery coupons. Movement at the window has drawn his eye away from the colossal battle he’s staging between army men, Lego guys, a T. Rex and a few Transformers.

“Is it inside or outside?”

I’m thinking I’ll finish sorting my coupons–I’m almost done–then I remember.

My word for 2012 is be. 

One of my goals for this vacation week is to be with my grandsons. Papa Rich has left to drive Ayden home; we’re keeping Cadence longer because he’ll return to his home in Hawaii in just a few days. He and I are alone in the house. This beetle in my window? It’s another chance to be with the child before his parents arrive to take him away, later today.
I set aside my stack of coupons. “Where is it?” 
“Right there! Look, Lala!”

I rummage in the pantry, return with an empty jar. A minute later we’ve gently swept two ladybugs from the window. We crimp a piece of foil over the mouth of the jar. I jab holes with a toothpick. “When Papa Rich comes home, he’ll help you poke holes in the jar’s lid.”

“What do they eat?”

We step outside to examine my roses. Haphazard gardener that I am, odds are good we can find a few aphids lurking somewhere. We find them on the only bud this January has brought to my rosebushes.

“See those little green bugs on the rosebud? That’s what they eat. If we cut the bud off to feed the ladybugs, we’ll have to give up that flower,” I tell him.

Cadence considers. “It’ll grow more, won’t it?”

“Yes,” I say. 

And so we sacrifice the rosebud for the ladybugs’ sake. 

“Lala, don’t poke your finger,” he cautions me, pointing to thorns. Cadence’s concern for my finger melts me a little. He removes the foil from the jar.

Minding my grandson’s warning, I drop the buggy rosebud into the jar.

With our small captives fed in their makeshift lounge, I propose that it’s time for our lunch.

And because I’m being with my grandson, I serve both our portions of macaroni and cheese on the special cow plates.

My grandson hands me his tangerine, asks me to unwrap it. Papa Rich phones to report he’s at the grocery store, just minutes from home.

“Hurry home!” I urge. “We’ve made a ladybug house and Cadence needs you to help him poke air holes in the lid.”

Papa Rich is better at being than I am. Poking holes is his first priority when he returns.

I slip away while the menfolk punch holes, leaving them to their manly work.

They install the lid, and our ladybug lounge is complete.

Later, I finish sorting my coupons. 

Cadence never returns to the desperate battle between the Lego guys and the T. Rex. The army men lost their allure when he found the ladybugs; he’s moved on to other explorations. This afternoon, every afternoon, overflows with possibilities.

My grandson is an expert at being. 

Maybe that’s why Jesus tells us, in three of the Gospels, that His kingdom belongs to those who become like children.

13 Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them.  14 But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Matthew 19:13-14 (NASB) 

13 And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”
Mark 10:13-15 (NASB) 

15 And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them. 16 But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”
Luke 18:15-17 (NASB)

I’m sharing with Laura Boggess today at The Wellspring for Playdates with God. Please come and play!