Sunday, October 04, 2009

Living With Boys

Alex had a bug collection in our garage. I came upon it one day while cleaning out there and it made me jump. It was a paper bag full of dead bugs and dead bug parts. There was a perfect set of drangonfly wings, a stag beetle jaw (amazingly huge), some butterflies, millipedes, and myriad metallic beetles. The collection gave me the willies, but I didn't want to discourage my young entomologist as his choice of bugs and bug parts showed some discernment.

So, I found an old tupperware container and suggested we move the bugs there. The container would be more suitable for size and I would recognize it when I saw it and not just come upon it like I had that day. Alex was pleased with the move and took the opportunity to show me each prized specimen. Interesting... disgusting, and interesting. We placed the tupperware on the tool shelf in a visible place and as the weeks passed I watched the collection slowly grow. I'd head out to get the hammer, half wincing at that clear container, but then I'd notice a new moth and pause to appreciate it. Interesting.

So, today when I noticed that the container had become a home for the tree frog they caught yesterday, I was a little sad about it.

"Why am I sad that Alex dumped his bug collection?" I asked my husband.

"You are?" he laughed.

I was. We have plenty of containers to make a frog home from, we didn't need to dump all those months of Alex's hard work and careful collecting. I felt a little bad about it. I did.

When I saw Alex later I asked, "Why did you dump your bugs for that frog?"

"I really didn't want the bugs anymore," Alex said.

"Why not?"

"Well," he said, "They were really starting to smell bad. You'd open the container and it would sti-ink."

Eeeewww...the willies came right back and I didn't feel bad anymore. Not at all.