“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”
- Hans Christian Anderson
I left something outside on the porch to dry and when Donald collected it in the evening, there was a fuzzy black caterpillar on top. “Hey there, little fellow,” my husband said.
We put him in a glass jar overnight and in the morning, as soon as Charlotte was awake, we brought the fuzzy black caterpillar to her. He reared up and crawled around and she twisted her hands while he did and she smiled. After a few minutes, we told her that we needed to bring him back outside.
Donald set him on the hollyhock plant beside the porch. The leaves bent under his weight and he eagerly began to nibble. Charlotte watched as he ate, in awe at him. Then she waved good-bye and reached for my hand and I helped her inside the house.
We read Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar and made butterfly chalk art on the driveway while reciting a William Wordsworth poem “To a Butterfly,” a poem that I remember from my own childhood. I showed her the signs for ‘caterpillar’ and ‘butterfly’ and we made shadow art in a cardboard box fort in the playroom. On our afternoon walk, we admired every butterfly we saw. The next day at the library, Charlotte and I lost ourselves in picture books about chrysalis and the children’s librarian taught us a song about caterpillars.
If this is what my daughter’s childhood is made of – fuzzy black caterpillars crawling on her pajamas in the early morning light and learning hand motions to a caterpillar song in the library – then I think I will have done something right.
Filed as Ridiculous poetry Wild child Sarah Donald Parenthood Fatherhood Motherhood Family life Charlotte Photographs of Charlotte Charlotte's toddlerhood; 12-24 months Reading Kid lit Libraries and story times Home-education Toddler and preschool curriculum Nature-base learning Emotion Love
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