Spring has come early to Portland. All week the sun has been out, sparking thoughts of running through the sprinklers, popsicle-sticky fingers and sipping wine in the afternoon sun.
Yesterday I threw open the windows and door to the deck. Peeper, of course, darted outside to play in the sun. I took advantage of her independence and Kiwi’s nap to do some dishes.
“What kind of bug is this, Mama?” I heard Peeper ask from outside.
I stepped onto the deck. There was Peeper, lying belly-down on the porch, her nose mere inches from a beetle.
“I don’t know, sweetie. What does it look like?”
“Hm. It’s kind of black and kind of white. It’s very interesting,” she said.
Together, we watched the beetle march up the side of the house. Then it must have tripped over an invisible thread of a spider web. Suddenly, a tiny spider—maybe a tenth of the beetle’s size—darted out. The spider crawled over the beetle, leaving iridescent strands over its hoped-for prey.
Peeper and I watched the drama. Would the beetle escape, or would the spider catch a giant lunch?
The beetle ended up breaking the spider’s hold. After another minute, Peeper pushed herself up off the deck and went back to playing basketball in the planters.
I returned to the dishes. But I smiled as I scrubbed oatmeal from a pot. For a few minutes, Peeper had invited me into her world. I watched the age-old struggle of eat or be eaten with the wonder of a child.
As Peeper notices the smallest of details, she inspires me to see our world anew. She pushes me to ask questions and, when I don’t know the answers, to find out—or at least imagine what could be. She makes me want to get down and examine life nose-to-nose.