If the year 2020 had a mascot, I’m pretty sure it would look something like the picture above.
As scary as it might look, this is actually an empty cicada shell that the insect left behind as it began its new phase of life.
In our family, we’re embracing that symbol. Who needs an elf when you can bring in something from your own backyard and make up your own rules? Our cicada shell hides on the shelf, on the side of lampshades and in potted plants. Our cicada shell has been known to lurk beside pillows and to surprise the lucky finder on the underside of a toilet paper roll. The person who finds it gets to hide it next and see if they can set a record for the longest-time until the next person finds it. Our rules change as the mood suits.
Sometimes the cicada shell decides to suggest a new family activity such as doing a puzzle…
Reading a book…
Or going on a hike!
Your rules might be more elaborate. The finder might get out of a chore. The finder might get to choose a meal or family activity. The cicada might point out an article or book everyone should read.
Whatever you decide, all you need is something from nature to hide. If a cicada shell isn’t to your taste, consider using an acorn or pinecone instead. Anything from nature will work. You can even turn the time outside looking for an object into a scavenger hunt and try to find something that starts with the first letter of every person in your household’s name. You’re in charge and you can make the rules.
It is an understatement to say that this year has brought unique challenges. Now, more than ever, families and communities need to come together. And maybe a simple cicada shell can be a start.