I'm thankful for the bugs in my house. Here's why.

'Tis the season to reflect on everything you're thankful for. So as I succumbed to, then recovered from, my food coma today, I reflected on what I'm thankful for in my life.

Right about here is where I start listing things like "family" and "health" and all that cliched crap you'd expect in a blog post. And right about here is where you'd stop reading. 

So that is exactly what I won't list. You can just go on assuming (correctly) that yes, I am in fact thankful for such things. Now keep reading...

Instead, today I want to focus on the little things that really make life special...like those damn ladybug-looking beetles (Harmonia axyridis) that invade my home every fall.

Don't get me wrong, I hate these things. They stink. They're impossible to eradicate. Every evening I spend sucking them up with the vacuum reminds me just how much of a pain the ass these things are. 

Yes, they're annoying as hell. But I'm thankful for them. Because they are the sole reason my kid has absolutely no fear of insects. In fact, she's completely fascinated by all the "ladybugs!" around our house. Every time she encounters one - whether it's on the floor, the wall, or the ceiling (which I have to pick her up to retrieve) - she has to take a moment to pick it up. 

"Look daddy! A La-DEE-Buhhgg!" She always hollers at me with such enthusiasm and the way she emphasizes every syllable of "ladybug" is pure adorableness. 

How could I not be thankful for something that brings such joy to my kid, right?

About half the time, the ladybugs she finds are still alive (especially the ones she plucks from the ceiling). These finds are exceptionally exciting for her as it gives her a chance to have one crawl around on her hand. Completely fearless, she'll just watch it crawl around as she turns her hand from one side to the other and I stand by trying to keep it from running up the inside of her shirt sleeve. 

Want to know the definition of "fascination"? Look at my kid as she examines a ladybug crawling on her hand. If she grows up to be an entomologist, I know why. 

Interestingly, she is not as enthusiastic about the hordes of boxelder bugs that frequent the outside walls of our house on warm, sunny fall days. Though she still will take the time to examine them too. Really, no bug on the property is safe from her inquisitive eyes and fingers (often much to her mother's chagrin when she approaches with arm outstretched saying, "look Mommy!"). 

And that, to me, is awesome. Not the grossing Mom out part (although I do get a kick out of that), but the fascination with bugs part. I love her inquisitiveness and complete lack of fear of the natural world. That's going to come in real handy the more trips we make into the wilderness (or the backyard woods) together. 

So yes, I'm thankful for those home-invading ladybugs. Because in this day and age, anything that helps my kid actually connect with the natural world is worth being thankful for. 

What are some of the little or unexpected things you're thankful for this holiday? 

Know what's more annoying than invasive ladybugs? Spam. So I won't send you any when you subscribe to this site