So I’m sitting on the couch reading Narnia to my eldest daughter just before bedtime. We’re on The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in The Chronicles of Narnia series, and in the chapter with the Dufflepuds, my mind started to wander as I was reading this:

“Don’t they admire you?” asked Lucy.
“Oh, not me,” said the Magician. “They wouldn’t admire me.”
“What was it you uglified them for—I mean, what they call uglified?”
“Well, they wouldn’t do what they were told. Their work is to mind the garden and raise food—not for me, as they imagine, but for themselves….”

My mind started to wander off on the allegory, about how a benevolent divine being put some folk in a garden and told them to take care of it, look after it, and eat just about anything that the garden produced, but they wouldn’t do what they were told…

At this point my daughter jumps up, interrupting the story and my train of thought-distraction. In response to my question about what she’s doing, she points to a blanket on the love seat, and says, “There’s a bug there.” She doesn’t want to touch it really, so I give her a kleenex so that she can pinch the bug with it, squash it, and put it in the garbage. Nice that she’s on top of these things. I watch as she takes the kleenex and positions it so the bug crawls onto it. I smile inwardly just a little, thinking perhaps she’s just a tiny bit squeamish about squashing the bug in her fingers, even if it is inside a kleenex. Then I watch as she takes the bug-transporting kleenex out the door onto the front step to set the thing free, from which task she comes back and returns the kleenex to me.

I’m just a little in awe, realizing I’d have squashed the varmint with no particular reason for doing so… whereas she lets it go with apparently no reason not to do so. I hope she grows up to be a better gardener than I or the Dufflepuds turned out to be.

June 1st — she’s eight years old today. In some conversation about children and grandchildren, she told me my face was getting ready to be a “grampa” because I already have grey hair in my beard, which she pointed out here, and here, and here, and… well, that was enough the first time. Yikes, can we just freeze-frame for a few years at this age before she starts asking to borrow the car?

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