Gus is on his tiptoes reaching for a board book at the top of his bookshelf. He tugs eagerly at the spine, secures it and pulls down. As if on cue, three or four more books come tumbling after. But it’s a success. Gus has the desired book in hand, Richard Scarry’s I’m a Bunny. It’s a story of a bunny named Nicolas, clad in cute red overalls, who shares his favorite activities through each season. Gus plops down into my lap, opens the book, and begins turning the pages. He stops at the page where Nicolas is frolicking with the butterflies in the summertime.
Like clockwork, Gus always flips to this page. He’s fascinated by the butterflies, their colors, sizes, varieties. He points to and calls out the colors of their wings. Tonight, for the first time in months, the window in our small front room is halfway open. Damp, spring-like air filters in through the torn screen. Summer is on its way.
I know the journey to summer, the cycle of seasons, but Gus doesn’t yet. He doesn’t know what I know, that he is at the brink of a summer of discovery. Sure, his little bunny friend has introduced him to illustrated butterflies. But this summer, while we frolic in the nearby park, I imagine that a tiny, brilliant winged creature will introduce itself. In arms reach, Gus will witness and experience this wild, miracle of nature fluttering before him. I can’t wait to see his surprised expression and to hear him gasp with astonishment.