Yesterday, Caleb caught a hairy little caterpillar on our back deck and named him, appropriately, "Fuzzy." Fuzzy is getting the royal treatment at our house. The kids designed a habitat (tupperware dish) and collected nutritious morsels (dandelions and leaves) for our new charge. The hope is that he will spin his cocoon and turn into a beautiful butterfly before our very eyes. They brought him to school to show their friends, teachers, and bus driver, Kevin.
After much deliberation about my competency and worthiness, they bestowed a great honor upon me tonight. I get to sleep with Fuzzy next to my bed. Caleb went through some emergency instructions with me before I tucked him in. If there is a fire, I am to grab Fuzzy and run to safety. If Fuzzy looks sad, I should sing him a song. And, if Fuzzy shows any other signs of distress at all, I am to wake my son immediately and ask him what to do.
Ironically, Alex is studying caterpillars and their miraculous metamorphosis in her second grade class and, the day before we found Fuzzy, she delivered a mini- lecture at the dinner table on why you can't help a butterfly break out of its chrysalis. The struggle to free itself is what strengthens it's body and wings.
Without the struggle, it would never fly.
It has to do the process. No shortcuts, no easy way.
This is a good reminder for me as a parent, a human, and a child of God.
I need to let my kids struggle sometimes. I need to let myself grapple with hard things, and I need to understand that this is all part of a divine plan of metamorphosis.