Toddler Time: The Moth and the Butterfly

I had seen it on the porch, a dead moth.  But Andrew was away and I let it be.

Cole was holding it when I came to the door; I saw the curiosity on his face.

But then in an instant the moth disintegrated into pieces in his hands, not of Cole’s doing, but because it was fragile.  And in that same moment, my smiling boy disintegrated into a wailing mourner.  The cry was honestly one I had not heard from him before.  It was a cry from his inside.  I rushed to him and held him as he wept.

Once I calmed him I removed the three pieces of moth.  He continued to weep, and I held him again.

A half hour later we were out for a walk.  He is loving walking and exploring.  And on our expedition there was a butterfly.  It was small and orange.

I thought about distracting him after the moth incident, but surely he would not make the connection between this lively, tiny, fluttering beauty and the dead, grey, lifeless mound on the porch.  And he didn’t.  He watched it until it eventually flew out of sight.

“Butterfly!”  He exclaimed, thrilled to know its name.

Hours later after many more adventures and explorations I put him down to bed.  He is a dream to put to bed.  He loves his crib and snuggles in with a smile and a prayer . . . and then he talks and sings to himself for up to an hour.

One hour after I put him down, he cried out.

I went to check on him.  He was laying on his back weeping.  When I came in he stopped.  He looked up at me and said, “Butterfly.”

I smiled at him, thinking his memory was settling him, “Yes, we saw a butterfly.”

His face scrunched up, and he looked at me in the eye with sadness, “I broke it!  I broke butterfly.”  He looked to me not knowing what to do.

Oh my little love who is not even two!  You are carrying this sadness with you, this guilt, this compassion, this regret!  How can I take it away?

“Oh buddy,” I mustered, “It was already broken.”

After settling him into his bed, he went right to sleep.

And I went and cried.

How do you protect your little ones from hurting?  How do you help them not to internalize and hold on to guilt and sadness.

There are a zillion books on parenting.  We are reading a couple currently.

But nothing prepared my heart to care so much for one little guy and a dead moth.

Spring/Summer Mantel

We updated our mantel in April, it is not my favorite mantel, so I think that is why I have not posted.  My favorite mantel was our Winter Mantel.  That mantel held meaning for us that was hopeful and looking forward . . . so much meaning I wrote a couple of posts about it here and here.

We chose to go with a mirror above the mantel this time, along with many empty containers.  We chose this light and airy feeling because Spring was a time of real reflection for us (we took the mirror from my closet, you can see it here).  We felt as if we were being called to empty ourselves.

My friend, Ashley, passed along a devotional by St. Augustine when I shared with her the journey I was on this Spring.  In it Augustine writes,

God means to fill each of you with what is good; so cast out what is bad! If he wishes to fill you with honey and you are full of sour wine, where is the honey to go? The vessel must be emptied of its contents and then be cleansed. Yes, it must be cleansed even if you have to work hard and scour it. It must be made fit for the new thing, whatever it may be.

So we gathered empty containers.  We chose to only add a bit of nature to two.  We choose to have open hands in this season and be filled with what God has for us.

It has not been at all what we expected.  There has been a good deal of change in the past month, but it is beautiful and good.

More to come in days ahead.

I am linking to the summer mantel party at The Lettered Cottage . . . since we won’t change this mantel out until the end of June.

Saturday Adventure: Strolling through a State Park

Today was one of my favorite adventures . . . simple and sunny.

We headed to a State Park, something that we have done on weekends together often.  This is the first time we did it with Cole without a backpack . . . Today Cole went for a little hike with us and he LOVED it.

This state park has lovely gardens . . . we visited last June and so I thought I would put this picture side by side.  Our little guy is growing up . . .

And these are days of joy.  We are loving how much Cole loves hugs . . .

Cole did a great job holding hands . . .

And he did a great job venturing out on his own.

A perfect day in the park.

And a little extra comparison picture . . .

Saturday Adventure: New England Aquarium

The Sharpteam has definitely lost their rhythm a bit . . . as you can see in my blogging.  But the truth is we hold to intentionally keeping rhythm where we can.  So last Saturday we embraced the Saturday as a family of three and enjoyed the New England Aquarium.

Our library offers a library pass at a discounted rate.  We love library passes!

Outside the Aquarium they were having a seal show.  So Cole started the day up close with the seals and the penguins . . .

Inside he had tremendous views of turtles

And divers (this confused him a bit)

He watched the action at the top of the tank with Papa . . .

And looked at the jellyfish with Mama (Liza was stung by one of these once).

Such fun days these are . . . we are loving twenty two months and he loved the Aquarium!