We are staying inside today, at least for this moment anyway. Blue skies and an aching need for the outdoors have officially transformed into blankets, nettle tea, and UNO by the glowing warmth of the woodstove while swirling grey clouds and raindrops are happily observed from indoors. My sewing machine has become uncovered after its sunny days of slumber. Pearl wants to be a frog for Halloween. Which stage of the frog she suddenly cannot decide- egg, tadpole, immature frog with tail, or mature adult? I encourage her to choose the adult frog on a lily pad because I have invested much thought in making it this way. I delight in knowing that this costume will be free of charge.
I’m finally finding a use for my piles of fabric and wool. I’ve been amassing a ridiculous amount of materials in my reluctance to see anything wasted. Clothes that I have loved and worn to holes are saved along with the pile of zippers that I acquired from my Grandmother back in college. I managed to use the zippers recently in Juniper’s birthday gift, a baby backpack sewn from a pair of old favorite pants and her receiving blanket. There is richness in recycling these fabrics and creating new treasures with old memories.
My daughter likes to observe nature. And then she likes to put it in a jar. We have several jars now with holes in the lids filled with caterpillars, roly polys, and worms. However fulfilling it may be to watch my daughter appreciate the natural world, it seems that boundaries need to be set. Ladybugs- that is one bug I need to see free. And if I’m ignorant of the bugs role in the kingdom of life, then it’s captivity is limited to a mere twenty four hour observation.
When it came to the caterpillars making skeletons of my collard greens though, I was happy to see her fill her jars to her heart’s delight. I felt smugly content that she could fulfill her desire to develop a live bug collection, while ridding my garden of unwanted pests. I reminded her to supply them with the necessary greens to sustain their voracious appetite if she wanted them to live, and then my mind drifted on to seemingly more important matters. Days later while cleaning, I noticed a caterpillar jar apparently empty except for a pile of poop at the botton. Wondering if their disappearance was due to caterpillar cannibalism, I opened the jar and discovered they each had made a beautiful spiky chrysalis. “Will they become butterflies?,” Pearl eagerly questioned. If they don’t mold first, I thought to myself and silently shrugged.
After a short two weeks, Pearl was playing in her room with a friend, when I heard exclamations about butterflies hatching. Sure enough, two cabbage moths perched on the sides of the jar fluttering their wings. Another was ready to come out, and we watched in amazement as it unfurled its wings and pumped them with blood. As I noticed the sense of wonderment on Pearl’s face, I realized I had no choice but to give amnesty to this particular population of garden pest. Besides, I could buy collard greens at the grocery store.