Our Caterpillar Journey

For Christmas a couple of years ago, my daughter received a butterfly garden thingy. (An enclosed netting within which you can observe the metamorphosis of a butterfly.) I just recently redeemed the coupon for the larvae. They arrived at our home a couple of weeks ago. On the day they arrived, we were running errands and didn't check mail until the following day. I don't recall the temperatures outside, but as I recall, they weren't too favorable.

Although the larvae didn't seem to be too active at first (I honestly thought they were dead), they showed signs of life the next day. They proceeded to exponentially grow into beautiful caterpillars. Out of the five caterpillars, one in particular was markedly smaller. Interestingly enough, he appeared to be the first to commence the chrysalis process. But alas, he came back down to the bottom of the cup the next day and hid away. I was grateful we still had four large, thriving caterpillars.

I suggested my daughter take the caterpillars into school. I thought she'd enjoy sharing this journey with her classmates. (There was also the added benefit of her speaking in front of her class.) While the show-and-tell went beautifully, I now believe the trip was a mistake. Three out of the four remaining caterpillars died over the next two days.

Mom fail! And, I'm looking to blame someone else too! Who in the hell thought of this gift idea anyway?!

I digress...

This morning, my daughter raced downstairs to check the status of the last caterpillar. To our surprise and delight, hanging from the top of the cup was a caterpillar! But, it wasn't the one we expected. It was the smallest caterpillar! He re-emerged after taking a break apparently. He definitely threw us for a loop! The large caterpillar that we thought was the last was at the bottom and not looking too well. I braced my daughter and told her that I believed she was dead too. She was sad. But, after a moment, she said that she just wanted one caterpillar to make it. She felt that maybe the others would come back to us or another family at another time.

After about 30 minutes of watching the cup intently, my daughter squealed with delight. Mommy! Look! The large caterpillar I thought had died was showing signs of life. My daughter was cheering it on, coaxing it to go up the side of the cup. (Caterpillars start the chrysalis process by hanging upside down in a "J" shape.) The small caterpillar was hanging in the "J" shape, hopefully preparing this time to develop into the chrysalis. The second was struggling to untangle itself from silk strands that had attached to its back. She fell down from the side of the cup twice while trying to break free.

(My daughter really struggled with watching the caterpillar struggle. I did the only thing I knew how to do. We prayed and trusted God's plan.)

This evening, we came home to find the smallest caterpillar had developed his chrysalis. Yay! And as for the large caterpillar, she had broken free from the silks that held her back this morning. We celebrated her perseverance.  And now, we wait for her to commence her metamorphosis too.

More on this in the coming days.  Until then...

Be open to what comes.


Our Caterpillar Journey (pt 2)

God's Grace