No, not the Song Butterfly – By Crazy Town (although – I do like that song!)

One of my earlier (more vivid) memories is of a caterpillar.  I was about 5 or maybe 6 years old.  I had found a caterpillar and wanted to watch it turn into a butterfly.  I had put it in a jar, punched holes in the lid, and watched it grow.  Soon, it became a chrysalis, and I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of a butterfly – when all of a sudden – the jar just disappeared.  I remember looking all over the place for it, and becoming quite upset…  But like anything with 5 year olds – it did not stay on my radar long, and I was quickly outside playing with the neighborhood kids. 

I may have never given that caterpillar another thought – but about two days later (while playing with one of my neighbors) that I found the jar.  In his yard.  Behind some bushes.  Empty.

I later discovered that he was “jealous” of my caterpillar / chrysalis / soon to be butterfly – so he snuck it outside, hid in the bushes, and stomped on it…  

My relationship with that neighborhood kid was never the same.  I could not get that image out of my head – even to this day – when I think caterpillars / chrysalis / butterflies – I am still reminded of that incident. 

Our kids school has a WONDERFUL Second Grade Teacher (Mrs. Warden) who has been teaching at St. John the Baptist School… Well, for generations now.  Her WHOLE teaching career to be exact.  40+ years now.  She was the recipient of the 2009 Fox 9 Teacher of the Year Award – (LINK (video too!) and the local paper’s coverage HERE)  Her granddaughter and our #5 of 5 are in the same class, and hang in the same group of friends. 

She is truly an amazing teacher whom we have been fortunate enough to have taught three of the five (so far… Still hoping for Mrs. Warden to hold out long enough for #5 of 5 to be in her classroom). 

Mrs. Warden has a theme for her classroom.  Her classroom is known as “The Butterfly Room”.  Every child in her classroom receives a caterpillar and raises it into a monarch butterfly – and the unit culminates in a mass release of monarch butterflies by the entire class.  It really does leave a lasting impression – one of our Scout Troop’s recent Eagle Scout Project was to build Mrs. Warden’s classroom a Butterfly Garden for the education and use by the entire school! 

#4 of 5 did this two years ago. 

A few weeks ago, #4 of 5 came running into the house the other day with a caterpillar.  She said she wanted to repeat the lessons she learned in Mrs. Warden’s class! 

I quickly thought about my bad experience from the past – but determined to not let that interfere with #4 of 5’s experience, and maybe take a proactive approach at CHANGING my own bad memory into something positive – we got an ice cream bucket, punched holes in it – grabbed some branches, and found a grove of milkweed plants to feed it.

We did care for it, and watched it grow into a BIG caterpillar (compared to how small it was when she brought it home).  Next thing we knew, the caterpillar was hanging from the lid of the container, and curled into the distinctive “J” that means a chrysalis will soon follow – which it did.

IMG_0304_640x480Then, during an unusually busy week (and on day three of getting 3 or less hours sleep a night) my very excited daughter and her friend (who was spending the night) came running out to meet me at the car when I pulled in the garage.


Lost tooth?  Broken Bone?  Someone cut their own hair???

Too tired to really even try – I gave up immediately.  I was informed that the caterpillar has fully transformed into a beautiful butterfly, and the kids were all waiting for me to come home to release it! 






Well worth postponing going to bed, we grabbed the camera – and shot a few photos of “Tres” (Spanish for “three” – and the name she gave her caterpillar.  I later determined there was no reason behind the name besides “I liked that as a name”)









Tres was then released into the wild where “She” (and yes, she is a “she” – there is a way to tell the sex of a monarch by the dots (or lack there of) on their wings) quickly took shelter in our front tree for quite some time.











Using the zoom on the camera
I took a last couple of pics of Tres before we wished her good luck on her journey to Mexico.


I think it worked!! 
When I think of caterpillars / chrysalis / Monarch butterflies
I am now seeing images of a happy #4 of 5 in my mind!! 

1 comment:

  1. Sis here...I LOVE THIS!!!! What a beautiful video!!! Rebecca looked so happy. I am kind of remembering that caterpillar you speak of. Was it a big fat green one on a stick?


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