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I loved catching fireflies as a child. My cousins and I would spend many summer nights chasing the mini balls of light for hours while sounds of laughter and dinner clean up wafted from my grandparents’ house; our squeals of joy joining in the noise as we successfully caught another.

In my teenage days we would gather at my grandparents’ house. We no longer chased the tiny sources of illumination, but we did sit on the porch swing, watching them cast light into the darkness. The same sounds of joy, giggles and dinner plates in the background.

Then I grew older. Maybe it’s because I moved away and no longer spent evenings on my grandparents’ front porch or maybe because the summer nights were no longer endless and freedom filled, but somewhere along the way I stopped noticing the fireflies.

That all changed the day my daughter took my hand and quickly dragged me out of the house to catch the lightening bugs. She ran after them, catching them, watching her little hands glow in the growing darkness. Both my daughters giggled and squealed uncontrollably as we caught another bug and watched it inevitably get away. I was instantly flooded with happy memories of my childhood.

Someday when my daughter is grown and her baby takes her by the hand, squealing with joy over the fireflies I hope she thinks of endless summer nights, the sounds of laughter and happy conversation, and the feeling of family, freedom and childhood all rolled into one.


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