We were leaving a solemn Taize-style worship service at church last night when Madeline came up to me with a grave look of concern, one that no four-year old should know, and hesitantly asked, "Mommy?"
"What is it, Madeline?" I asked, stopping in my tracks to get down at her level, giving her my fullest attention.
"I LIKE worms!" she exclaimed. Now, I don't know why I felt let down but somehow, that wasn't exactly the serious insight or question I had anticipated. (My bad.)
"We need to go back to California so we can go visit the worms," she went on. (Well shoot, now that you put it THAT way, let me book the flight!)
"You know Madeline, there are worms here, too," I said. Her face lit up, like only a four-year olds' face can.
"YYYYYYYYYES!" she practically yelled, leaping up, throwing her hands in the air and giggling with glee. I half expected her to burst into a little worm dance, clicking her heels a few times, while clucking...
"When can we see them?" she asked excitedly.
"Well, I think it has to warm up a little bit more and then they will come back out," I answered as I finished loading the kids into the car. All was silent for the drive home as I contemplated how it is that my most princess-like child (so girly a child that I have to think there must be some suppressed girly-girl gene in me somewhere....or perhaps in Kurt? hee hee)...how funny is it that our princess-child wants to get into the dirt and play with the worms. As we pulled into the driveway, Madeline broke the silence with a question she was obviously struggling to keep inside.
"Mom," she said, "is it warm enough yet?"
(Uh no, but we are there yet....does that count?)
Today, after fulfilling my promise to paint the girls' fingernails purple and as we were outside with serving spoons and spatulas digging for worms, only to find the ground was still quite frozen, I thought: Wow, now this is not what I had imagined I would be doing ten years ago! (And for that, I am full of thanks!)
Cluck cluck cluck...