Turtles & Spiders & Dinosaurs.....OH MY!
I consider myself a hands on mom. Not just because I am with the critters all day, but because I truly want my kids to remember and witness great things. Not only am I a rescuer of all toys that disappear under the couch, but I am a mom that goes above and beyond the call of duty. I rescue misguided turtles from the street, catch caterpillars and even tarantulas. One day my kids will recount these stories and acknowledge that mom truly was a freak! One day while Peyton and I were coming back from Austin we found a turtle that had made its way into the middle of the street. After flying by the thing, I had this pang of guilt. What if it gets squished......could I forgive myself? Around we turned-I grabbed it with some old newspaper that had found its way into the car and placed it on the seat. The damn thing finally realized it was no longer basking in the sun in the middle of the street and was in an air conditioned vehicle, zooming at 60mph with a screaming (almost) 2 yr old in the car. It decided to try and escape.....with us screaming at the top of our lungs for 10 miles (and me cussing the damn thing out)-we arrived at the lake where we bid our new dear friend a tearful adieu. We still talk about this wonderful excursion.
Last summer I witnessed several caterpillars munching on my Jasmine plant growing up our porch. What fun I thought as I scooped one up-we can feed it Jasmine and watch it turn into a butterfly or moth. Sure enough our caterpillar had built its crysaliss-it was nestled inside as we watched and waited. One summer day as Peyton played in the pool and I relaxed on the porch, I heard a cracking sound, I looked over and it was breaking out. I screamed to Peyton- who ran up immediately. The amazement in his young eyes! There it was...a huge moth. AMAZING! We let it sit and spread its wings. Later that day we set it free, where it sat on a flower pot on our porch for about 30 minutes. While Peyton was inside, I went out to check to see if it had flown away.....there it sat-wings going in and out. As I sat and admired this glorious creature......SWOOP! A bird flew down and grabbed it! I felt terrible. When Peyton inquired if it was still there....I declared, "No! It flew away!" (With a little help from a bird!)
Now...the tarantula. I don’t know if I am catching them because I prefer to have them caged outside, as opposed to loose outside our house. Peyton isn’t too terribly enthralled with them. The first one refused to eat the crickets I drove into Austin and spent 65 cents to get-and died. Of course Peyton thinks the cats knocked over its habitat and it ran away. The second one, which I caught a couple of days ago-does nothing for me. Please....I am a tarantula wrangler at this point. The thrill of the first one has long warn off. But I am petrified to let it go.......or drive it anywhere to let it go. So, there it sits.....trying to get out-as I hunt for bugs to feed it that it won’t eat anyway. I rescue squirrels from my cats, hose down tree trunks to get the frogs to hop out all over the sidewalk and marvel at the fact that I saw a live armadillo (usually I only witness them as road-kill). I share these exciting moments with Peyton and will soon share them with Lucy. With the excitement of a child, I shriek his name. Sometimes he looks disappointed, not nearly as excited as mom at these wonderful things. "Look!! The sunset is pink!" or "Peyton, quick a racoon.....come look!". We build volcanos that erupt, suck hard boiled eggs into glass jugs (with the help of his science book)-and excavate plastic dinosaur bones from plaster of paris.
I blast music in the car so that we can sing along and dance (if you have ever been behind me.....that is what we are doing!) We blow bubbles and dance around the kitchen like lunatics. In the summer we run through the sprinkler fully clothed or on big wheels (yes, I ride his big wheel......got a problem with that?) I am proud to say that I love the toy store as much as my kids do! I look forward to this summer when Lucy can partake in our antics. There is nothing like sitting on the porch step in soaking wet clothes, eating freezer pops and picking out cloud shapes.
Someday we will talk about these great memories and laugh at our antics-so those of you that know me......remind me of all of these great things the next time you hear me screaming at the top of my lungs at the little darlings!