4.22.2009

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Great book, beautiful art work, but an even better message - the well-known transformation is one of the first scientific miracles children learn.
One night last week when Celia refused to sleep, I thought something "familiar" might calm her. I sang her the songs of her infancy... "Baby Baluga"... our version of made-up verses to "Hush Little Baby"... you know, some standard stuff. When singing failed to produce sweet nocturne, I thought maybe a favorite story book would work... 'sept I didn't feel like getting out of bed since I'm pretty sure the clock said something like 3:74 in the morning. So... The Very Hungry Caterpillar is pretty easy to remember. (As long as you or your kids don't care what day the caterpillar ate which fruit, or which order all the treats are consumed on Saturday!) As I whispered the words in her ear, her curly hair tickled my nose, and in the retelling I discovered a different, but similar, message.
As parents, we read these stories and watch the fairy tales and dream of our sons and daughters blossoming, soaring, transforming just like Eric Carle's butterfly. My version of this story is different. Celia was a VERY hungry caterpillar (as evidenced by the circumference of her thighs!) Just like the caterpillar, everything was going along smoothly for Celia, until one day our caterpillar didn't feel too good. Unfortunately, it had nothing to do with overindulgence. Now I watch my daughter spin a cocoon around herself knowing that inside, just like in the story, is a beautiful butterfly waiting to soar. And I find myself wishing there were as simple an ending to her story as there is in the book, that she could just chew a hole in her chrysalis and get out, that there were some other miracle of science to be shared.



Andy

*Butterfly image courtesy of Google image search (please don't sue us Mr. Carle).

8 comments:

Beth Ann said...

Isn't it bitter irony that some of God's most beautiful creatures are with us for so short a time, just like butterflies and certain very special people.

JNF said...

No words are adequate..I am always happy to read a post from Andy. A daddy's perspective warms me, even if the lesson is a hard one.

Grandma Jan said...

There is some awesome, gentle wisdom that we are given spending middle of the night time with our children. Andy, I know Celie thanks you for whispering sweet stories in her ear ... much like you did 30-some years ago when the middle of the night was when you requested special time. I couldn't remember story sequence then, either ... but our time together was awesome.

The Wendels said...

Celia is so blessed to have such a special daddy.

Christy said...

"The length of a life does not reflect the depth of the love shared between a parent and a child." I found this quote today. I think it's my new favorite. It certainly is true for our beautiful girls. Some day they will be free from the entrapment of this ugly disease. Celia is blessed to have beautiful parents such as yourselves to help her through this confusing time.

Joce said...

Andy, you have again given me pause.... Your willingness, to share your love, your pain & your joys, continues to astound me. What a beautiful butterfly Celia and Tucker have for a Father(and MOM)......OK- OK for Tucker's sake I'll call you a beautiful moth. Love to you all!

Poppy John said...

Andy My Boy,

You ARE very special and I am soooo glad that Jenni picked you over the 20-30 other guys that she was dating at the time!
Joce...FYI...Point Pleasant is the home of "Mothman" (Google it) and you are correct when you suggest that Andy is a moth. Andy is captivated by light. During his visits here, I've entertaned him for hours by moving a laser dot around the room. Just thought that you might be curious.

Adam and Vicky said...

I agree with Beth . . . and I can picture, once transformed, Celia's beautiful and perfect wings fluttering once again in her naturally graceful way. . .