A few weeks ago, my mom purchased a butterfly home and caterpillars for the boys. The boys were excited to watch the caterpillars grow larger and larger, then become chrysalises. We watched each and every day for any activity. After a week or so, the first butterfly emerged. The boys were excited to see the new life. Soon after the 4 other butterflies emerged. Carter slept through each new beginning (it so happened he took a nap that day). Evan on the other hand, was very upset of the timing of the 4 others. He was playing Mario and was quite upset that I interrupted his game so that he could watch the new butterflies emerge. Jeremy and I, on the other hand, were enthralled with the process. And sat waiting for at least 30 minutes until the very last butterfly entered the world. We kept them in their home for a couple of days, when I finally explained to the boys that we needed to let them go. Evan, of course, did not want to let them go! After a brief explanation of why it would be better for the butterflies to be free to do what God intended, Evan agreed it was the best option.
So we headed out to our butterfly bush and unzipped the temporary home. There was one butterfly READY to escape. She had been hanging on to the zipper all morning. It didn't take her long to get those wings fluttering and off she went. Evan, at this point, became very sad to see the butterfly go. He turned to me and asked to zip the rest of the butterflies back in the home.
I asked him how he thought that first butterfly felt as she flew away excitedly. He dropped his head and gave me the, "I know she was happy to fly away but I want them to stay." But he knew what he needed to do and opened the zippered ceiling and rooted each butterfly to take flight, until the very last one headed off into the sky. Surprisingly, NONE of the butterflies were interested in the bush. They flitted and fluttered around the back yard all afternoon, much more interested in flying then anything else.
Carter explained, "they are now looking for their mommy and daddy so they can be happy." Melt my heart!!
Can't wait to do this again next year! Evan immediately asked if we could get some more caterpillars.
But the learning of new life isn't over yet. A Robin has nested in our Rose of Sharon tree and we have watched her build her nest, lay 3 eggs and now there are 3 hairless babies she is tending too (I've taken a bunch a pictures since they boys can't see inside the nest). Can't wait to watch them grow and take their first flights.
I'm just curious...do you do anything special during the spring/summer with your kids to allow them the experience of watching new life around us? Please share your experiences ;-)!