Ladybug has been in California with my parents for the last month. She spends the mornings working on the organic chicken farm "doing the dead", or removing hundreds of dead chickens and burying them. She is dedicated to the work, as her artistic envelope shows. She reports that the little ones are less gross than the big ones that have guts coming out, fall apart easily, are see through and turning blue.
It is a true blessing that she can learn responsibility from those who love her. In addition to frog collection and duck rearing, she is learning about social relationships while spending time with two cousins, Natalia and Joseph. Home schooled for years, they have no pre-conceived notions of how someone "should" behave. They share similar interests, thus they accept her and give her a great gift, friendship.
She is in her safe place, a magical world where critters abound, no schoolwork exists, and swimming in the pool occurs each afternoon. So I was surprised to receive her letter, sharing her heart. I am shocked and touched to realize that she misses me. Me, the reading enforcer, the disciplinarian, the spoil sport. I would make her life there, in California, perfect. The thought makes me feel very small, and very unworthy of the role I play in her life. I never set out to be any one's hero. With parenthood, no one can escape it though. No matter how hurtful the parent, when sick, you really want your mom. When achievement is reached, what you wouldn't give to see your dad cheer.
It's heady stuff. Parenthood. I love you too Bug. You are my greatest teacher. May I live worthy of your lessons.