Friday, May 9, 2014

Our Time With the Butterflies

Last year we got Dax an Insect Lore butterfly garden for his birthday, and then completely forgot about it. I came across it while unpacking the new house and immediately ordered the caterpillars. After a nail-biting week of checking the mail every day our caterpillars finally arrived! We watched in awe as they climbed to the top of the cup and created their incredible chrysalises.

 After a few days I moved our friends to the butterfly garden. Next came a lesson in patience. The kids were so anxious for the butterflies to emerge. They checked on them all day everyday for the next week.

At one point Samantha complained, "Why does it take so long??" I replied by paraphrasing the wise words of Miracle Max. "You can't rush a miracle. You rush a miracle and you get rotten miracles." I knew my love of The Princess Bride would come in handy one day.

Finally, the butterflies began to emerge. We missed the birth of the first one, but soon the others came, and it really was a miracle. Watching the slow, calculated effort made by this tiny creature was awe-inspiring. What really struck me was the chrysalis. I expected a hard shell, but what was left was thinner than tissue paper. We left the butterfly garden in the middle of the kitchen table, because the kids wanted to eat with their new friends.

At one point Philly climbed up on the table and took a nap.

After a few days of feeding, talking to, and observing our new friends it was time to set them free. We took the garden into the backyard and said our goodbyes. Each one lingered for a little while, but one by one they flew away.

Enjoying snack time with his butterfly.

This was a really special Big Sister moment for Samantha.

Philly showing off his new friend. 

The "Butterfly Whisperer" helping Phillip.
All but one. The smallest butterfly just couldn't bring itself to leave Samantha. Every time she tried to let it go it flew right back and perched itself on her hand.  I guess it realized that it would never find another flower as sweet or beautiful as my Samantha.
We decided to keep that little guy an extra day. More on him later.

I'm so glad we got to have this experience and I can't wait to order our next batch of butterflies.
If you are interested in your own butterfly garden I got ours at Shopko. You can also go online to the Insect Lore website.


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