Friday, August 15, 2008

Kathleen On Freeing the Butterflies and Other Changes

I've had all kind of butterflies this summer. Some were raised in the kitchen, others in my stomach. It's all about changes.

We gave the grandchildren a butterfly house this summer. Sent for the larvae and, much to everyone's delight, raised them through their stages and had four painted butterflies. (One chrysalis didn't make it, so we had that lesson, too.) We fed them in the butterfly house for a couple of weeks while we explained that they were looking forward to freedom. Then we had a release party. The kids professed love and good wishes to each critter as it took flight.

Lately we Riders have talked a lot about emptying the nest, letting go, dealing with life's changes. The big guy in the pictures is my firstborn, father of the two girls. My baby is Daddy to my grandson. Our male Eagles have come back to the nest once or twice, which is typical of the bird as well. But that's another story. (Did you know that the only way to tell male from female eagles is by weight. Guess which is heavier.)

So, changes. I'm back to caring for little ones a lot, which is a joy and a challenge. Back to buying school supplies and clothes, which I missed in recent years. And I'm back to writing the shorter series books, which is an adjustment after writing one big book a year for several years. I'm remembering the line from one of my favorite movies, Dirty Dancing. "Lots of changes, old Max. Lots of changes."

o let's talk again about making changes. Adapting. Surviving. I don't want to be the critter that couldn't break free of the chrysalis. I want to stretch my wings. How about you?


Debra Dixon said...

Well the first change I want to make is to get set up with a butterfly house.

Where do you order the "makings" of all this? Internet?

Tell me in detail how you do this. We have a butterfly house at our zoo, but I know my sister will want this experience for the grandson she's raising.

Cindy Gerard said...

Lovely post, Kathy. And yes, changes abound. I fought them once. Now I kind of ease into them, knowing they are inevitable. Somehow, it makes the transitions a little easier.

And I'm with Deb - I want to know all about the butterfly house! It sounds like a wonderful journey

Christie Ridgway said...

I love the photo of the kids with their hands in the air! Lovely, Kathy.

We're getting ready for a new school year here, too. Starts Monday! Eeek. We were discussing all that would bring and I started to get a little tense about new schedules and the uncertainty of new teachers, etc., and then forcibly changed my slide into worry. "This is going to be a great year!" I said out loud. "The best one yet!"

Seemed to ease the flicker of concern in the schoolgoers' eyes as well.

Betina Krahn said...

Kathy, what a great post. I LOVE those photos and the love-lessons you've provided through the beauty of butterflies. You're such a loving grandma.

I would love to be nearer my grands so I could do projects like this with them.

And as to changes. . . I'm writing series romance, working on historicals, living in Florida, engaged, and trying to decide what else I should be doing with my life.

Oh, and i just was contacted by my old college roomies who want to have a reunion this fall. Wow. That came out of the blue. And I find I'm psyched about the idea. My life has seemed too segmented of late. . . and I'd like to break down those barriers and reconnect.

lois greiman said...

Everybody just has to quit making me cry.

Beautiful grandkids, Kathy. I envy and admire you.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Deb, we got the butterfly house at Target, but it was in the seasonal toy section. Actually, you might find them on clearance. I think Creative Kid Stuff has something like this. You get a coupon for the larvae, but you have to pay about $6 for shipping. Grandson is getting a Diego tadpole kit for his birthday (party tonight!) also from Target, also has the coupon for live tads.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Oh, man, Betina, you've really got it going. I'd love to get together with college roomies. It's been years since I saw any of them. I used to look them up whenever I traveled in their areas. (I used to travel!)

Kathleen Eagle said...

The butterflies were released in our Medicine Wheel garden, which is planted with indigenous stuff. Low maintenence, much loved by bumble bees and butterflies.

flchen1 said...

What a great post, Kathleen! Thanks for the reminder that change is GOOD :)

Estella said...

Great post!
I love seeing pictures of children doing something besides sitting in front of the tv playing games.
You can find butterfly houses at I think it is a spring item, tho.

Jane said...

I agree with Estella. It's hard to get kids to do something fun outside. All they want to do is play video games. They should have fun outdoors and get a little exercise along the way.

Kathleen Eagle said...

We've had so much fun with hula hoops this summer! I think I had one of the original hula hoops way back when. Later they came out with the "shoop-shoop" hula hoop--remember? The 6-yr-old is really good at it, and the 4-yr-old is getting it down now, too.

The other outdoor hit this year was the sidewalk chalk. They filled the driveway with hopscotch, roads, houses and "magical paths."

The simple stuff is still the best.

Playground Monitor said...

Great post. You always do such fun things with your granddaughters. I'm keeping all these things in mind for when my granddaughter is older. She just turned two. I'm hoping to go see her in a couple weekends while the DH is out of town. They only live 2 hours away, but we're busy and they're busy and somehow we just don't get together often enough.

The Writing Playground gave away sidewalk chalk in the goodie room at nationals, and we've had such great feedback from it. I held out a few sticks for my grandbaby to have a little later when she can really enjoy it. She loves the outdoors and one of the first words she could say was "side" meaning outside. She'd stand at the door, bang on it and say, "Side! Side!"

Yep, lots of changes in everyone's lives. I'm like Cindy; I've just quit fighting it and it all seems much easier.


Arkansas Cyndi said...

The joy and amazement in the faces of the children just makes me smile. And you might have found the butterfly house in the toy section of Target but I swear, my husband would love something like this.

Nikki said...

I love the whole butterfly thing. We have done that at my school (I teach 6th graders) for the past couple of years and the children are so captivated by the entire process. They want to name the butterflies and it's always so exciting when the release day occurs.
However, last year an unusual lesson was learned. One of our teachers (I'll call her Ellen 'cause that's her name) told the rest of us that she had a very shy butterfly who was clinging tenaciously to the inside of the little net house. It just didn't want to go out into the big, bad world. Finally, after a stern lecture, Ellen convinced said butterfly to experience freedom and the whole class cheered as the butterfly began its new journey. Meanwhile a hungry bird swooped down, and the children's cheers turned to gasps and cries of disbelief. Yep, you got it. Our hungry bird found lunch.
Tough lesson, and Ellen segued into the ole food chain speech. while crying.

Michele said...

I'm new to this blog, and I have to say I'm so glad that I found it.

Changes. is like you were writing just to me. With two of our five out the door already, one making her way out soon, and one away at college 9 months out of the year, what was once a bustling and busy household is now eerily quiet and somewhat lonely during school hours. I find myself pondering the larger questions about myself now that I have more time on my hands and Change seems to be the most common thread. The latest conclusing of my daily inner conferences is that change must be it is inevitable. Thanks Kathleen, for the beautiful post. I will be returning regularly now.