Friday, March 20, 2009


We like bugs in our house.

(We have three boys.)

Many times I'll be blogging dutifully cleaning the house when I hear, "Mom, Mom, come quick!"

(I try very hard to always answer such summons no matter what I'm doing. I'm never disappointed.)

Last week it was a bit fat caterpillar. Our camera was out of batteries when said caterpillar arrived on our doorstep, but the above picture from is pretty darn close. The same cute little black butthead, the same fuzzy fur. Ours was perhaps a little more vibrant yellow - but you get the idea.

We named our caterpillar Hungry. Because Hungry he obviously was. He never wandered far from our front door and we always said goodbye to him on our way to the car. He let us watch him for half-hours at a time. We had a pet. (And best of all, no cleanup!)

Then last Sunday we noticed Hungry had left his comfort zone and was exploring the garage wall. We watched him find a spot he liked, hang upside down, and do a funky thing with his butt to secure himself there.

It was pretty cool.

Three hours later we came home to find THIS:

It is beautiful. And I can't get over how quickly Hungry cocooned himself.

Now every day Da Boyz and I check on him. We have endless talks about caterpillars-turning-into-butterflies and high hopes of seeing it in action. (We'll see.)

Hungry is part of our daily prayers. Little Prince, especially, blesses him to become "a beautiful butterfly like on Bug's Life." Now that's faith.

And I can't help but think about our own metamorphoses. How each of is constantly growing, changing, and evolving into something beyond our imagination. I don't know if Hungry realizes what will happen. I know he felt compelled to shut himself up for a few weeks. I'm bettin' his transformation is uncomfortable - maybe even painful.

Was he scared when he sewed himself up into darkness? Will he be surprised when he comes out? Will he be confused? Will he still know himself?

I'm guessing yes to all of the above.

But I know he won't be disappointed, either.

The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the
Master calls the butterfly. Richard Bach

May we each murmur a little less about the cocoon, and be a little more grateful for the butterfly.


Kristina P. said...

What a cool part of nature you get to take part in!

Hope we get some butterfly pictures.

LisAway said...

Great analogy. Love that. I wonder when I'll ever finally get out of this dang cocoon.

Oh, wait. I wasn't supposed to complain about that, was I?

Beth said...

I've always been fascinated by this transformation as well, but I've never heard that quote. Good one!
If you're ever in the Houston area, check out the Butterfly section of the science museum. Thousands of butterflies! There's also a part where you can see them coming out of their cocoons.

Jocelyn Christensen said...

Fantastic and wonderful!

gigi said...

What a wonderful analogy! I love watching and waiting for things to happen with children. Seeing things thru their eyes again is so fun. They are forever learning. Happy Friday!

SO said...

Richard Bach. My favorite.

I loved this. Love. Thanks for this.

Mariel said...

awww...sweet. great post!

Joni said...

Love every-day allegories!

I'm so jealous that you get friends like Hungry. We get spiders. Friends like Freaky, Scary, Screamer, Yikes and Dopey.

Not a one has turned into something as beautiful as a butterfly, although some have made a quick metamorphosis into a pile of legs and goo.

(I know Brazil can conjure some NASTY spiders, so you probably do get those friends too.)

sshoemake said...

I am an avid reader of yours and I especially loved this post! Your blog definitely helps lift my spirits and makes me laugh. I love Latin America, therefore I love hearing about all your stories about Brazil and I hope to visit that beautiful country someday.
Shelby in San Diego

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

If you could see and hear my house right now, you would understand why I'm jealous of that cocoon. 3 weeks wrapped up in quiet darkness?? Ahhh. But, I love the analogy!

Fig said...


Also kind of squicky. Caterpillars give me the shivvies.

Head Nurse or Patient- you be the judge said...

Wonderful analogy! Nature can teach great lessons if we let it-

Melanie J said...

Oh, I soooo like this.

Jennie said...

Wonderful post! Thank you for it. It seems I am in the midst of a change-I'll hope for something beautiful on the other end! You are inspiring!

Rachel said...

Every year around Labor Day my family would go out looking for catepillars. We would find 3 or four and take them home and put them in jars. My mom always brought plenty of milkweek for them and then put a stick in the jar. And every year, barring something tragic, those catepillars would spin a coccoon.
My sister and I would come home from school every day and check on the coccoons to see if they had hatched. They would turn clear and then you could see the orange and black underneath.
Possibly the most memorable experience of my childhood was taking the butterfly out of the jar after it's wings had dried, holding it, and then watching it fly away.
If at all possible, try to give your boys this experience. There is nothing in the world like it.

Real Mom, Real Life said...

Very though provoking! If Hungry does come out looking like Himlech from Bugs Life, you are definately going to need some pictures!

What an exciting thing for the kiddos to be part of.

Erin said...

I bet you dutifully clean the house frequently. Right?

What a fun experience for your boys to have. And I also like how you likened it to yourselves and your lives.

Korbi said...

deep, I like it.... Gracias!

Harmony said...

I love you blog it is so fun to read! I found it on the mormon mommy blogs.

Annette Lyon said...

I was getting ready to be all grossed out. Glad it was a butterfly!

rad6 said...

Ok, so today would be the perfect day to read "Hope for the Flowers" to your boys! Favorite book of all time. Do they have american or english bookstores there? Borders? Author; Trina Paulus. Will change you life. Trust me on this one!
What a fun visual for your boys!

Jan the crazy lady said...

I love them both. But I do love the butterfly. I had one land on my hand once. It was so beautiful. I will never forget how grateful I was for that moment.

This was great btw...Love the header.

InkMom said...

Sometimes, I long for the cocoon. Wouldn't it be nice to not have to endure growing pains (of all sorts) in public? Or better yet, to just turn in on yourself for a little while and emerge with a baby? Talk about a public metamorphosis.

Good on your boys for not smooshing the caterpillar. I don't know that mine could resist. There's a reason they build those cocoons up high!

Deb said...

What a beautiful story. The transformation from caterpillar to butterfly is, to me, one of the "proofs" of the existence of the divine.

Kazzy said...

Very cool experience. We are getting ready to order some caterpillars for my special ed. kindergarten class!

nikkicrumpet said...

How very cool for your kids to be able to watch this transformation. And it's cracking me up that you consider this bug a pet...sheeesh somebody needs a puppy lol

Shooting Starchild said...

Thank you!

Kimberly said...

I love. That. Quote. Have for years. Such a beautiful sum up!