“Mom,” my 29-year old son said over the phone, “I’ve finally figured out you and this monarch stuff…” “yeah?” I said. He replied, sarcasm thick in his voice, “You’re starting a CULT!”
Sean decided years ago that his mom is just a little bit loopy – perhaps he figured it out when I dragged a jar with a chrysalis along on an outing to COSI, finally getting to see it emerge as we were shopping for his new Cub Scout uniform on the sixth floor of Lazarus. Two clerks also watched, puzzled but highly interested. Anyhow, now Sean says I am obsessed…..” O – C – D , obsessive-compulsive disorder, Mom” is his diagnosis.
Well, yeah, why not? I admit spending hours each day stumbling through the ditches of Licking County (and wherever else I see milkweed) in the hot blazing sun looking for tiny butterfly eggs on the bottom of milkweed leaves is maybe a bit odd. And I concede that feeding and “changing diapers” on a couple of hundred caterpillars in shoeboxes is slightly strange. And maybe running out and calling people in off the trail to witness the “birth” of a butterfly is just a touch peculiar.. And chasing butterflies with a net, sticking a tag on their wing, and then letting them go does get one stared at from passing cars.
BUT, when you get the kind of payoff I got today at Second Avenue Elementary School, it’s all worth it. When you can make it possible for a whole class of fidgety kindergardeners to stand absolutely rapt as they watch the little miracle of a butterfly struggling its way out of its chrysalis and spreading its expanding wings, ….. THAT’s why I do it, folks.