In June of 2006 when my grandson was about to become five years old, he and I decided to have a picnic together. As a kindergarten teacher, I have been the planner and hostess of many a Teddy Bear picnic. A number of these were rained out but I discovered, rain or shine, nothing seems to daunt a child's excitement if an adult can find it within themselves to accept the circumstances and just play along.
My plan was to take my little one to a local park and carry along his mother's Care Bear sleeping bag and find a shady spot to eat our sack lunches. I learned very quickly that was not the plan he had in mind. He preferred lunch at my home and wasn't shy about telling me so.
We found a place under a shade tree in the backyard, opened our little brown bags and unwrapped the sandwiches I'd prepared. I poured a small amount of juice for each of us and so our picnic began. Our classroom Teddy Bear picnics were usually noisy and filled with lots of sharing about the teddy bear each child had brought to class that day. My grandson and I were about to share a "just the two of us" time together.
It wasn't long before we were joined by some six legged friends, those famous for interrupting picnics but we were undaunted by their visit. A few flying friends also tried to crash our party as we finished up our cookies, leaving a few crumbs for the sleeping bag sleuths. We simply decided to sing a round of "Shoofly, don't bother me!'
"What's that Neenie?" he asked. "It's just a June bug. We used to catch them in the backyard and tie a string around one of their legs when I was a girl." He giggled."Those June bugs live in the grass with their brothers and sisters." he said matter-of factly. I smiled as I thought of another incident just a few days before. A dove had found shelter under a shrub in my front yard. When we tiptoed out on the porch to see if we could get a look, the dove would move to the other side of the bush. No matter from which side we chose to look, the dove would move to the other side. The next words out of my grandson's mouth took me totally by surpise as I almost laughed out loud. "I think he loves us!" he whispered.
Some things come uninvited whether pleasureable or a nuisance. We never invited the bugs to our picnic. The dove who spent several weeks under the shelter of my shrub came unexpectedly as did my grandson's precious words in response. When I shared these things with him at age eight from the journal I am keeping, he and his sister each had a great big belly laugh together. Another unexpected moment of pleasure shared with my precious ones.
My grandson asked me why the dove was hiding under the shrub. I don't know the answer. I don't know if June bugs live in the grass or in a tree. What I do know is God can take an ordinary day and insert some priceless moments that can become lifelong memories. "I think He loves us."