My Surprise Visitor

For our anniversary, my husband and I went camping. Normally, we would do this for my birthday, but since we have Liliana now, we were worried September might be a little too cold. On Monday night, Matthew set up a fantastic fire in the fire pit, but he got tired before I did and went to go lie down. While I was alone in the dark, I heard something off to my right.

Flip! Flop!

There was something on the pebbles surrounding the fire pit. I couldn’t see it yet, but it was getting closer. As the fire dimmed, whatever it was became more courageous. Every few minutes, I heard it again:

Flip! Flop!

Just when I began to believe I was imagining it because I still couldn’t see whatever it was, I looked down and saw a face!

There was a toad the size of my palm sitting next to the stones that surrounded the pit, and he was staring right at me! I jumped a little, but he didn’t seem to mind. He crawled onto one of those big stones, nibbled a branch that was protruding from the pit, then sat back and relaxed.

He (or she?) was actually pretty nice company. He just hung out for about fifteen minutes, doing the same thing I was doing – enjoying the calm, the warmth, the peace. And he taught me something.

We were more similar than I would have thought. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that even though everyone seems so different, we are all so alike. After all, we all have needs, wants, hopes, dreams. We all have thoughts, feelings, plans, emotions.

The same concept applies to adults and children. As an adult, I sometimes have to remind myself of exactly what it feels like to be a child. I never thought of myself as being little, but these miniature humans seem so small to grown-up eyes that it is easy to dismiss their thoughts and feelings as cute things that kids do. At the same time, as a child, I remember thinking that adults tended to be entirely wrapped up in the wrong sorts of things. We are more similar than we tend to think.

After all, we even share about half of our DNA with bananas.