Friday, February 09, 2007

Lessons from an Exoskeleton

I wrote this essay a couple of years ago, but Craver's post about a spider prompted me to get it out, dust it off and share it with you.

I have three daughters. They love Barbies and princesses and dress-ups. And bugs. The kind that creep and crawl. They like seeing them up close and watching them for long periods. I, however, do not. I try to stay as far away as possible. When presented with a particularly interesting (read "gross") specimen to view in magnified glory under the bug viewer, I attempt to hide my disgust long enough (because I want to be a "good mom") to give an interested impression. Then I hurry off to brush away all those creepy-crawly sensations.

But I realized recently in my entomophobia I'm missing opportunities to teach my children. Not just about the eating habits of slugs, but about life. And death. And maybe even other things.

One backyard find was what my husband called an "exoskeleton". I called it "yucky". It was a crusty, bug-shaped shell, that, from my preferred viewing distance, actually looked like the real thing. But it wasn't. And therein was a source for so many lessons.

Like a lesson on our bodies and how, like the shell, they're only a temporary home. Or how we see something and think we know what it is until we get a little closer to really inspect it (a lesson on not judging others, perhaps?).

So maybe I shouldn't be so quick to run from their shudder-inducing insect finds. Maybe I should be beside them mining our backyard for teaching materials...Then again, I might just stick to safer indoor subjects. After all, bugs make for good Daddy/daughter bonding. Don't you think?

5 musings:

Craver VII said...

Can I tell you what reeealy scares me? When the doorbell rings and instead of finding friends or family, it's somebody selling windows and siding. Aaaaaaaah!

Llama Momma said...

You're right, Lara. Compare this story to the towels below. No contest! :-)

(I just confused any lurkers on this comment board, but that's did craver! What IS he talking about???)

Craver VII said...

The post described something that scares AMM. Craver then followed up with a comment about something that scares him... What are YOU talking about LM?

I sat and colored with my little guy on Friday. I came up with an idea for illustrating the beattitudes. It shows Jesus at the Sermon on the Mount, turning the world upside down. I can't recall what my son drew. (bad daddy)

Llama Momma said...

Craver - Ah. I get it now. AMM and I were talking about writing and how we improve with time and practice.

Cool - both the drawing idea and the fact that you were coloring with your son. :-)

A Musing Mom said...

Siding salesmen, large crusty insects, even my own writing sometimes - these all scare me!

Craver - your illustration could be a draft for a mural (hopefully your son wasn't actually creating one when you weren't paying attention).