Luck be a ladybug tonight
I’d swear the ladybug smiled at me. She might have even winked.
I’d been resting my eyes – another term for napping – in the front seat of my pickup when the sound of a bug attempting to get past my open window caused me to crack open my lids. Just as the bug crossed the threshold, I automatically swung, missing it, which caused its swift exit. The bug flew deftly back out the window, did a loop-de-loop over the roof of the truck and landed on the hood. That’s when I realized it was a large ladybug.
She turned, appeared to look me straight in the eye, and then I’d swear she smiled and winked before opening her wings and flying away.
Now this wouldn’t have been a big deal if I’d recently hit my head. But over the last few months I’ve had several encounters with this red-shelled, black-dotted insect, and the entire thing has grown kind of odd. Ever since my wife and I began the adoption process, these little creatures have been showing up in the weirdest places.
If you don’t know already, my wife and I are adopting a little girl from China, a process that has taken approximately two years. Since the China adoption community considers a ladybug an omen of good luck, well, I’ve really begun to enjoy visitations by these bugs.
The first time a ladybug dropped by for a visit was while my wife and I were in Denver for our first mandatory parenting class weekend. We’d finished our first day of classes, and we’d just checked into our hotel. We rode the elevator to the fourth floor, hermetically sealed room, and when we opened the door, we were given quite a shock. Someone had set a baby crib in our room even though we never told anyone our reason for being in Denver.
Besides, our daughter’s arrival was still a long way off.
We had a good, though perplexed, laugh about the entire event before setting our suitcases down and going to dinner.
By the time we returned to the room it was dark, and I reached for the light switch. When I flicked it, a strange shadow resembling a world-eating giant slug appeared on the wall. I looked back at the lamp and noticed a dot casting a huge shadow sitting on the lampshade. There, on the fourth floor of a hotel with windows permanently shut, sat a ladybug. I called Bevy over and we pondered the day’s omens, their meanings and what we should do next.
Of course I set the ladybug free. It never pays to treat a good omen bad.
My second meeting with a ladybug occurred on the anniversary of our dossier to China date. This is the date our adoption paperwork arrived in China, officially starting the clock on the adoption process.
I was walking around Breckenridge when I noticed something clinging to my shirt. Naturally, being the clean fellow that I am, I brushed the crumb off my front. When I looked down, however, I realized I’d brushed off a ladybug that was taking a break from tooling around Main Street. Unfortunately, the bug fell into a crack in the sidewalk, and I instantly panicked. I pulled out my pocketknife and worked diligently for about 10 minutes to retrieve the stuck bug. Luckily it was unharmed, and I put her gently into the bushes. Needless to say, however, I ended up getting plenty of stares and comments from passing tourists concerning my strange behavior. But, whenever someone stopped, I’d grin like Satan and babble “clean the cracks so you won’t break your mother’s back.” In the end, most people left me alone, though, a few Texans gave me a dollar to buy a cup of coffee.
Now, most people that know me know I’m not superstitious, and I don’t see omens in the way the wind blows or where a black cat walks. The adoption process, however, has been a long one. So if a ladybug sporting a big fat grin wants to come-a-calling, bringing me tidings of comfort, who am I to argue with a bug.
Andrew Gmerek is a weekly columnist for the Summit Daily News.
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