As another summer season beckons, the garden is becoming a place for us to hang out in again. This year, our daughter is 5-years-old, and it’s always interesting to see how her age each year changes how she engages with this outdoor space.
This particular Sunday, I was doing various little garden and/or kitchen tasks while she was pottering about. She excitedly came over and asked “What is this?”. She had a woodlouse on her hand, crawling around, as she moved her hand to compensate for its movements so I could see it.
I was surprised that she wasn’t scared of it, this classic creepy crawly. In fact, she was so enamoured with it that she wanted it to be her pet. She called it ‘Lucy Louse’, and she wanted it to come and live with us.
I explained to her that it was a creature of the wild, and it wasn’t fair for us to trap it inside with us. It was driven to be free in the outdoors, and not kept as a pet.
She was disappointed, but accepted this. She bounded off and then enjoyed the rest of her time with Lucy, until she bade a fond farewell.
This desire for a pet is ongoing. She would love to have one. She is a very social person who likes companionship, and has many imaginary friends. She is desperate to have a sister, but knows my wife and I don’t want any more children. This desire is in part my motivation for arranging regular playdates (2-3 a week), so she has that social activity in a home environment.
Anyway, this was one of the photos I snapped that day. I like that it shows her grubby fingers that have been pottering around in the garden. I also likes that you can see the classic Yoda quote on her Star Wars top: “Judge me by my size do you?”
It applies here too, that a small and humble woodlouse could generate such joy and empathy in a little girl.