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Little Lifesaver

Since I am at home during the day now because of my knee surgery, my niece asked if I might babysit her sons. They are as different as day and night; the eldest is Jayden, a typical 4-year-old with lots of energy, tons of questions, but soft-hearted to a point. His younger brother is Kalen, age two, a tough little cookie, and a born wrestler. We were sitting at the dining room table one day using crayons and paper when Jayden's colors suddenly rolled to the floor. As he bent to pick up the crayons, he let out a high, piercing scream, which of course startled both his brother and me.

“What is it?” I asked with concern as he was still under the table. “Auntie, it's a bug! Kill it, kill it!” He jumped to his feet, totally animated, bouncing up and down and pointing to a large water bug—the kind that are notorious for sneaking into the house unexpectedly. As I was about to step on the thing, Kalen screamed and grabbed my hand frantically. “Nooooo! No Auntie!” He then scrambled out of his chair and bent down in front of the bug that seemed frozen in place. Jayden kept yelling for me to kill it, kill it now, but poor Kalen began to cry and tried to pick up the thing. “Noooo please!” He swatted at my foot as I again attempted to step on the critter, who still had not moved. Kalen reached out to pick up the bug when it suddenly ”came to life” and jumped on his outstretched hand. Of course, I was repulsed, and so was Jayden, who was still chanting “Kill it, kill it!” at the top of his lungs now. Kalen stood up with the bug on his hand, smiling down at it, and walked calmly to the front door. I had to work my way to the door much too slowly for my taste, all the while trying to calm Jayden who still wanted the bug dead. Kalen had opened the door and shook the bug off his hand. When I finally got to the door, my little great nephew was standing there watching the bug crawl away. He turned to me with a huge smile on his face and said: “Bug gone, Auntie.” I could only smile back at my little lifesaver.

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