It started out as a joke, calling them by Old People names. Something to build rapport and add a little pizzazz to our days.
And then there was Olive.
Tiny, pig-tail wearing Olive.
Olive, who on this chilly spring morning surprised the heck out of me by befriending a neighborhood spider, of all things.
In my experience, the grace period for a classroom insect is about 45 seconds. After that, the mortality rate increases dramatically. Too many tiny hands and heavy feet, all wanting to capture it and take the customary trip outside to let it loose- a glimpse of freedom for both the child and the newly rescued friend.
On this day, I was extraordinarily impatient. There is no swinging pendulum of excitement when a child finds an insect in the classroom. Spider, cricket, (gasp) cockroach, it may as well be a full grown monkey- it's all the same to them.
I had but on thought, "Let's.get.this.over.with."
"Come on, Olive. It's already dead."
To which she replied, "No. It's not."
She was not rude or disrespectful.
It was gentle. Full of hope.
You see. Olive saw something I didn't.
I just didn't know it at the time.
"Well, then it's almost dead."
My tone was short. There were baskets of books everywhere from the chase that had ensued, and now 16 children waited in the background with math journals open and just a scoopful of focus to last us the rest of the day.
We had, so to speak, bigger fish to fry.
She poked and prodded a little bit more until this pile of hairy legs and limbs was resting at the bottom of her pencil cup. Perfectly still.
Yet, she handled it so delicately- at one point, when the poking and prodding seemed ineffective, she grasped it with her tiny fingers- with such courage for someone so small- as if it were a cricket or a roly poly or a ladybug- something deemed "harmless" by adult's standards.
Strange as it may seem, it was the most beautiful thing I have seen in a long time.
And it got me thinking about Osama. I know he's been dead for weeks, but something about his death has just stayed with me. I am not the only person I know to have felt this. It's an odd feeling.
The news at our house unfolded as one of those "yell-across-the house" conversations. Tim in the guitar room and me in the kitchen- slicing strawberries and (probably) listening to records. At 11 o'clock at night, no less (if that gives you any insight into our lifestyle right now).
Sigh. My memory fails me.
But I do know the first words out of my mouth were, "Ha! Ha-ha! Finally" like a child who has just witnessed a bully getting punched.
Or something along those lines.
And then, a twinge of guilt, of uneasiness- unrest? That, I remember well.
I'm not going to tell you that I don't feel satisfied- like justice was served. I do. I think what goes around comes around.
There is part of me that is grateful. For karma and whatnot. For closure.
However, I cannot imagine the heartache of losing a son as God did when Osama died. My son who had not only strayed, but also my son who brought evil and havoc and such misery into the lives of my other children.
Surely, no one feels heartache the way God does.
The older I get, the more I realize that we have absolutely no grasp on reality when it comes to how much we are unconditionally, infinitely, unendingly, bravely, hopefully, amazingly, unarguably
Sigh. Such loss.
With that being said, as hard as it is to fully understand sometimes, we are all children of God.
Spiders and Terrorists included.
Today, there was a spider in my bathroom. Large. Brown. Fast & Hairy. The fastest thing on 8 legs this side of the Mississippi. Or something like that.
I couldn't help but think of Osama and Olive and The Spider. *
So, for the first time in (ahem), 29 years, I saved a spider. I did not run. I did not avoid the bathroom. I simply breathed deeply and listened to the voice of God.
I channeled my Inner Olive.
And then I did a little grossed-out-jumpy-dance when it was all said and done. It's the thought that counts, I suppose.
Thanks, Olive. to you, I bestow 10 minutes of extra free time. Use them in good spider-saving health.
Love and I think Olive and The Spider sounds like an adorable Children's Book Title,
Love and Olive gives great hugs,
* Please make no mistake- I compared Osama to the spider to show that God loves creepy, crawly bad guys just as much as He loves second grade girls. Not in an attempt to prove that they both should be set free/spared.
Whew. I feel better.
Love and so NOT a terrorist,