Boys and Bugs
Worms and Beetles and Frogs, oh my!
Springtime in New England. It’s my favorite season, full of crisp mornings and warm days, green leaves appearing overnight on trees, flowers blooming, and a fresh smell that streams into my house through open windows, clearing out any lingering stink that can come from living with four male tushies.
It’s also the season when nature really surrounds my boys and me . . . frogs jumping through the yard (or are those toads?), anthills popping up in sidewalk cracks, bumble bees zooming by. And wormy things . . . wormy things everywhere, squirming on the driveway to get a taste of the morning dew on the nearby grass. And then those very special worms: the ones who swoop down from trees on invisible ziplines, likely screaming “wheeeee!” and “hahahaha!” as they descend and their webs tangle in my hair, giving me an incurable case of the willies.
As a girly-girl mother of boys I don’t get to shriek and hide. I want to be present, despite the itchiness that comes from thinking a wormy thing may have just landed on my head. So I endure days of playing outside, getting just close enough to the creepy-crawly things to be able to say, “Wow! I see!” but far enough away that I can get a head start running when my shirtless little explorers put these things in pails and chase me with them.
That’s what it’s about. Being engaged in the action with my kids, pointing out the ant-hills and telling my boys to see if they can follow a single ant’s path . . .suggesting they try to gently catch the frog to watch how he moves, letting them learn that (some) worms survive being cut in half . . . but always with enough distance to get a head start running. It actually makes for a great spring fitness program.
How do you handle worms and other nature that thrills your sons and makes you itchy?