When Isabella asked me for a ladybug-themed birthday, I giggled. I thought it was a bit silly.
But then I started thinking about what that meant… and I realized that it was a lot deeper than I first thought.
When Isabella was little, I used to call her my little ladybug. When she was a little older—old enough to have her ears pierced—I bought her a pair of ladybug earrings, which she wore all the time. She even had ladybug rain boots, like galoshes.
As the years passed, and we cleared out Isabella’s kid things to make way for teen things, then moved her out to the East Coast for college. But for some reason, I knew I had to keep the ladybug earrings.
This past March, when Isabella came home for Spring Break, we didn’t realize that she was staying here indefinitely, and not returning to New York any time soon. We thought she was going to go back to school after a week. Well, of course with the pandemic, she didn’t.
And she immediately started wearing the same ladybug earrings again. She hadn’t worn them since she was a little girl. And I thought it was so interesting that she gravitated to these keepsakes that she’s had for so long.
Then I started thinking about what ladybugs mean in popular culture and spiritual traditions.
Luck. Prosperity. Protection.
Isabella had this intuition that she needed a symbol of protection, family, and abundance.
This past Sunday she turned 22. Although it’s hardly the same as turning 21, having a birthday under the shelter-in-place order is really significant. And, yes, it was ladybug themed.
For me, it was a time for me to reflect on what Isabella was finding important. That childlike innocence, and seeing the positive side of what’s happening right now. She is a really positive young woman, despite it all.
Her wearing those ladybug earrings reminded me that we need to see the glass as half full, even as we hit these yearly milestones: birthdays, Mother’s Day, and any celebrations to come.
And now, the ladybug has become our little family mascot.
To top it all off, just today, I was in our dining room, pulling oracle cards for inspiration. I looked up, and saw a dark little dot on the white curtains.
Sure enough, it was a ladybug.
I picked it up, brought it outside, and as I let it go, I thought, “OK. I got the message!”
The original blog was published in the Salimpour School blog on May 22, 2020.