Last night, just past twilight, I told Anna-Grace to go catch lightening bugs before the season was over. She lit up like a little lightening bug herself. Mommy hadn't just barked "It's past nine! Go to bed!" She had said, "Go out and play!" A rare occurrence with this mom. So she cheerfully ran out before I could change my mind. But within a few minutes she was back, whining to Christina. "Can you come out with me? I only caught one." Christina was cleaning up the kitchen, as was her job, and the voice inside me said, "Jeannette! Get off that dumb computer and play with your daughter!" So I volunteered. Another look of joyful surprise! Mommy's going to play! So out I ran into the twilight in my bare feet.
We ran around the darkening yard like children (not too hard for a 6 year old, but rare for me!) and I tried to explain that it was just slightly too dark, because we couldn't see their bodies after their little lights went off. Suddenly I stepped on something unpleasant. "Ouch!" I don't know if I stepped on a pricker or a bee, but it kept stinging worse, so I told Anna-Grace I had to go in and put something on it. Hopping into the house, with Anna-Grace, concerned, at my heals, I climbed quickly on a stool, muttering as I hunted through bottles of herbal medicines, "Where is that plantain tincture?" Anna-Grace perked up, spun on her heals and ran out the room. Finally I found the right bottle, and was just putting some on my poor toe when Anna-Grace reappeared with a look of triumph and held out a great big plantain leaf! I thanked her profusely and wondered why I had been so focused on getting the tincture while I stomped all over the stuff on my way into the house?! Yet my 6 year old kept focused on the basics and got me the real thing. I quickly chewed it up just a little to free the juices, stuck it on my toe, and felt the pain subside. I wrapped a Band Aid around the leaf itself to keep it on, which made Anna-Grace and Christina laugh, but it worked! I thanked my little naturopathic doctor for her quick thinking and her concern for her mommy. She looked so proud.
Few lightening bugs caught, but a host of memories preserved. And the satisfaction of knowing that I have instilled a love of the natural healing properties of our wonderful weeds into my little one. A good day.