Sunday, May 23, 2010
The Little's great-aunt gave him the most amazing birthday gift a few weeks ago, a Painted Lady butterfly kit from Insect Lore
When the kit arrived in the mail we quickly opened it, knowing that little caterpillars were alive inside. Each little plastic container held five teeny-tiny caterpillars and enough food for them to live on. I wish I had taken a photo of them the first day we had them. They grow quickly! The Little is so curious about them. We check them every day to see how much they've grown and how much food they've consumed.
It should only be a matter of days before they begin to change into chrysalides and are moved into their new, larger mesh home.
This has been such a fascinating experiment to have in our home. I remember as a child watching butterflies hatch in school, and now I am able to share that same experience with my son.
We live in a completely suburban environment. Cookie cutter houses, manicured lawns, perfectly laid out streets. Sometimes I think that we're thought of as "those neighbors", the ones with the compost pile (non-smelly), the garden, the canning, and now the chickens. But you know what? I'm ok with it. More than ok with it. There's such a disconnect in our society today with were our food comes from, how bugs and bees help pollinate our gardens, how the cycle of life works. Yesterday as we were bringing home our chickens a little neighborhood girl asked me what we were going to do with them. When I told her we were raising them for eggs she looked at me, eyes wide with confusion. "Eggs come from chickens?" She asked.
I hope our worm composting, suburban chicken keeping, butterfly raising, gardening lifestyle instills a deep wonder, an insatiable curiosity, and a reverence for life in my son. I hope he learns about the importance of eating locally, of being a good steward and gentle soul. I hope he learns about the circle of life, and how all things good spring from the earth, and with our help, return to it.
I hope he learns.
This journey is not only transforming caterpillars into butterflies. It's transforming me as well.