Friday, January 18, 2013

Birthday's and Fireflies

So the 15th was my Birthday. It's funny how once you pass a certain age, birthday's seem to serve only as a reminder of how old you are getting. But I remember when I was a kid, couldn't wait to get to thirteen, because then I would be a teenager. Couldn't wait to get to sweet 16. Couldn't wait to get to 18 and move out of the house. Couldn't wait to get to 21 because I could drink. (Though I really don't, it was just a principles thing, lol)

This year though, as I began to dread another nothing birthday, I happened to remember one of my favorite memories from my younger years. I had just started working dispatch at a sheriff's office, and every once in a while we would do a ride along for our shift. (This consisted of a dispatcher riding in plain clothes with a deputy in order to see things from their point of view, give us a break from the desk, and help promote inter-office unity.) Back to the story...

I ended up doing a ride along with an officer that had been on for probably around 5 years or so. He was new enough that the job hadn't gotten to him and turned him gruff, but had been around enough he had the on the job stories to tell that regular people wouldn't believe. The night was slow so we decided to do a couple of home checks for people that had gone on vacation. (This is where an officer goes by a house to make sure everything is still in correct order, no break-in's or suspicious activity.) It was just after dark when we made it to the house. We checked everything, all normal. As we headed back to the car a buzz went past his ear.

"What was that."
"I dunno, I didn't see anything."

His flashlight clicked back on, but there was nothing to see. He shrugged at me, I shrugged back. He clicked the flashlight back of and we headed for the car. Then we started to see them. Tiny specks of glowing light.

At first I didn't have a clue, then it dawned on me. Fireflies! I hadn't seen fireflies since I had been about 9 or 10.

"Fireflies!" We gasped in unison.
"Oh, they're so beautiful." I sighed. "I haven't seen them since I was small."
"Really?" he questioned.
"I know. I thought they were all gone with all the light pollution."
"We still have a few around."he replied. Then he began to flash the flashlight on and off similar to the lightning bugs. Soon there were tons of fireflies around him, he turned the light off, and tucked it into his belt. He swung his arms around trying to catch them for a few minutes. Then he brought cupped hands down in front of him.
"Come here."
Soon I was standing beside him peering into his cupped hands. He had caught a firefly just for me so I could see one up close.

Now to anyone else, I'm sure two grown adults huddled together staring at a beetle with a glowing butt must sound a bit odd, but it was in that moment that as an adult I remembered that magic is real if you know where to look. At that moment I watched a rugged cop magically turn back into a little boy. I don't know if he even remembers this moment as it was over 10 years ago now, but it was a very special moment for me, and one I am ashamed to admit I had forgotten until recently.

So with another birthday though true I am another year older, I am also another year younger as I remember it is the small and simple things that make us happy, and with happiness comes youth.

Be Happy, and Grow Young with me. :D

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