I borrowed my son from his bedroom for his height–to remove a grasshopper from the inside of the screen door off my bedroom.
He hesitates, so I press, “Just lift it up and put it outside!”
Aidan is absurdly afraid of spiders, but grasshoppers?
He is also an engineer.
(Well, a 17-year-old with an engineering mind.)
He taps the screen and the grasshopper jumps onto the glass door.
“Now what!” I say, aggravated with the delay, but he only smiles.
He quickly pulls the screen closed so that the bug is on the outside of the glass door without return access.
“Engineering,” he says, with pride.
Relieved, I return to folding laundry, but distracted, Aidan remains at the door, which has become a specimen jar–eye to eye.
“Come look!” he says.
But I am not interested in grasshoppers–the whole point was to get rid of the grasshopper. But this is his last year at home.
“Watch,” he says, giggling, as the grasshopper pulls down its antenna, like a girl playing with her hair.
Each time Aidan laughs, the grasshopper does it again.
“He must be a comedian,” I say.
“He’s looking right at us,” Aidan says.
“Doesn’t it seem like he’s wearing a metal shield on his head?”
“Exoskelton,” Aidan says.
(He is also a scientist.)
I don’t know how to get from this story to what I want to say.
It’s a leap, like the grasshopper made from the door back into the world.
I’m grateful for this pause with Aidan and the grasshopper for the way it reminds me to stop trying so hard.
Like the Buddhist teacher, Pema Chödrön says:
There’s a kind of basic misunderstanding that we should try to be better than we already are, that we should try to improve ourselves, that we should try to get away from painful things, and that if we could just learn how to get away from the painful things, we would be happy.
I want to know this.
In my bones.