When a 9-year-old teaches the 39-year-old…

“Hey mom! Check out this roly-poly!” the almost ten-year-old girl said with excitement.

I glanced quickly down at her dirty little hands and saw the tiny grey bug cruising along her pink skin. She has been ever so busy the last few days with building a roly-poly habitat in a large bucket. She has all the other little neighbor girls contributing to her roly-poly farm. They are collecting, adjusting, caring for and just have a wonderful time with these tiny, harmless insects.

“What do the bugs eat?” she asks me, her greenish eyes following me around.

“I have no idea,” I say to her.

Thinking to myself, why on earth would I know what they eat? She trusts me to know things. That’s why she asked me in the first place. I pick up my phone and ask Siri what do Roly polys eat? Siri responds and says to ask the local zoologist. I say calmly to the girl, “look, it says to consult a zoologist” feeling somewhat amused by the answer.

The little gal wouldn’t accept that. She took the phone into her own hands and asked Siri herself. This time, the phone robot gave a better response although I’m not sure the insects are exotic.

The husband overheard a conversation with the girls. Our daughter: I’m naming this one Chester.Neighbor friend: Ok. Our daughter: Chester is going to live in my room. Neighbor girl:

Why? Our daughter: Because I like him.

She has gotten hours of enjoyment out of these bugs. I really don’t know how long the trend will last, but through all of this, she has demonstrated leadership with the neighbor kids by presenting something they could all work on together. Not caring if they wanted to join her or not, she moved forward with the habitat. (They all did end up joining her)

She has demonstrated creativity. She didn’t need a manual to build the habitat.

She has demonstrated a willingness to learn. She wanted to be a student and find out more information. She checked with someone she thought might know about the subject more than she did. She recognized someone much older then she may know something she does not.

She exercised kindness and care even though the bugs may not have the capacity to appreciate it.

And finally, she has demonstrated finding joy in the smallest of things. All of the above is lessons I myself can get a refresh on.

I need to be a leader and invite others even when there is a risk they might not join me.

I can create from my imagination just like God did and does.

I need to be willing to learn new things and ready to be in the student’s seat.

I need to respect the older people in my life and realize that if I just ask them, it might help me learn faster.

I need to be kind and caring even though I know I may not be thanked.

And I need to find Joy in the smallest blessings, amusements and little bits of life that float around like sparkles in the air. Like this coffee the husband just brought me. Or the vase sitting on my desk with flowers. I love the sound of the water in the canal, the chimes singing their song and this computer working while I type.

Even if those things were removed, there is still the roly-polys to enjoy. Yes, God thought of everything, and while some are in plain sight, he also hid some of them for us. I’m assuming he did that because he knew we all enjoy a good treasure hunt.  It’s my job to recognize it all, big or small. 

~ Prudence

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