Like most little boys, Robby loves bugs. He enjoys nothing more than digging around in the dirt to find a fat worm or watching ants scramble on the driveway for hours. This morning he found the jackpot of bugs. He found a butterfly.
Watching Robby delight in running around the yard chasing an unsuspecting butterfly truly warmed my heart. With peels of giggles he scrambled around his Nana's yard, trying to catch the two winged fluttering creature. After flying around for several minutes, with Robby running along in tow, the butterfly settled on a peony bud.
With one swift motion, and to my surprise, I managed to catch the butterfly. We put his butterfly inside her new temporary home, a clean take-out deli container. Robby proudly strutted around his Nana's house, showing off his new friend.
Robby was giddy with excitement as he carried his butterfly. I encouraged him to let his pretty little friend go, but Robby was insistent that he take the butterfly home to see his Daddy. He was sure that his Daddy would be "super happy" to see the "pretty pretty butterfly." After a few rounds of "pleeez Momom, pleeez" I relented and agreed that the butterfly could travel with us.
My Mom and I decided that the butterfly had the best chance of surviving the 2 hour drive if we provided some food. Not knowing exactly what they eat, we opted to cut a peony bud to put into the jar. We carefully chose a fat bud, and cracked open the lid.
Out flew Robby's prized butterfly. The butterfly began to circle the three of us, flying just out of reach. Robby immediately became frantic as he began screaming "my butterfly... my pretty pretty butterfly...come back." He began to cry.
I felt horrible when I saw my little bug lovers heart break in front of my eyes. My Mom and I immediately went into bug catching mode. We knew that we had to catch that butterfly!
I tried running after the butterfly. It was at this point that I realized that I may be fast enough to catch a running toddler, but I am not quick enough to catch a nervous bug! The more the bug flew out of reach, the louder and more distraught Robby became.
My natural grace and athletic ability failed me again as I was unable to sneak up on the butterfly when she landed. I tried to be swift and stealth when the butterfly landed on the ground or on a bush, but I was unsuccessful. I don't know if butterflies have ears, but I suspect that my accompanying screaming toddler didn't help the "surprise factor."
My Mom went into the shed to try to find a butterfly trapping device. While a net would have been ideal, she emerged carrying the lid to a trash can. Yes, her plan was to toss the lid onto the butterfly, trapping her to the ground. Robby, thinking that he needed a tool, grabbed a stick.
I was hobbling around, ungraceful but mobile and upright, trying to trap the creature in my hands. My Mom was running next to me holding a trash can lid in a manner which resembled a shield, pleading with the butterfly to please slow down. Robby was running behind us, crying hysterically and waving a stick as he begged the butterfly to come back into the jar. My brother watched the entire scene unfold as he was leaning against the garage in his underwear smoking a cigarette.
After nearly 30 minutes of chaos, the nervous little butterfly flew high over the neighbors house. I tried to convince Robby that his butterfly friend needed to fly home to see her Mommy. I don't think he believed me. Robby is convinced that the butterfly went to Alabama, where he thinks all bugs go when they fly away.
I am hoping that he is over the traumatic loss of his butterfly friend soon. I am tired of hearing how his butterfly flew away, and that he is sad. Of course, he still reminds me that I lost his red balloon (it flew out of the car about 5 weeks ago) at every opportunity, so I suspect I'll be hearing about the butterfly all summer long!