Totally not the kind of thing I’m usually into. Not by a long shot. I don’t mind snakes. I’ve held a rat or two. But if you’ve got more than 6 legs, buddy, you are not welcome.
Two things have worked together to change this for me this week:
1. Rowen is studying bugs in preschool. She came home with a bug catcher AND lectured me that ants are good! when I squished one in the house the other day. Then I had to sigh and explain that “good” has varying definitions depending on whether the creature is inside or outside my bathroom. Outside? Good. Inside? Meet Mr. Paper Towel and Take a Ride on the Toilet Express… or better yet, call Jared and tell him there’s a HUGE spider *sob* and can’t he come and get it? (hehe).
2. Anyway. The bug catcher has suddenly got her interested in bugs of all kinds! With any number of legs, and lengths of body, and while these words would normally leave me feeling queasy, my Mama-hood takes over, and puts on a Brave, Bright Face and says, WOW! Look at that great big.. thing! Yay! Oh gosh, doesn’t THAT one have a lot of … colors on it? Because having kids run from harmless bugs isn’t a good way to grow up, right? I want them to experience the world around them with as little inherited bias about crawlies as I can. And I can push the limits a bit if it’s for my kids. A bit. After all, isn’t parenthood as much about learning our own capacities as it is about teaching anyone else anything? :)
Lucky for me and my Brave Face, though, I happen not to be too grossed out by caterpillars, and also lucky for us, there are LOTS of caterpillars around these days. Rowen learned all about them in preschool, and now gets the opportunity to learn how to treat even the smallest creatures with gentleness. We found this fella in the backyard today:
I love this shot for a lot of reasons, but the main ones are the look on Rowen’s face and the gentleness of her hand. I LOVE that. I pity any creature that finds itself in the backyard of curious toddlers/preschoolers, but this girl just wanted to hold the caterpillar, find it some food, and give it a home in an old plastic cup. She even named it “Stripey Caterpillar” (we are very into descriptive names), and had to go check on it the second she woke up from her nap. And you know what? I think Stripey Caterpillar is .. kinda cute. :)