Monday, May 10, 2010

Butterflies on my mind

I have a vivid imagination. With few exceptions, most scenarios are far better in my head than in reality. I haven’t decided if this is a flaw, because I love the creativity my imagination spawns. However, many real-life experiences are somewhat anticlimactic after traveling the curves of my mind…

My preschool students and I have been enjoying the wonders of the butterfly lifecycle. A lifecycle so exact that even a biology degree hasn’t lessened my amazement.

Ten Painted Lady caterpillars grew at the same rate, until the day they all climbed to the top of their enclosure and attached to the ceiling. Within 24 hours, they were enclosed in chrysalises—genetics are amazing.

Last week, the butterflies emerged…a truly magical event. After enjoying them for a few days, we decided to set them free—they needed to finish their life journeys.

I think I was more excited than the children. With great anticipation, we carried the butterfly enclosure outside, and I gently picked up each butterfly, lifting my hand into the air, waiting eagerly for it to fly.

Have you seen doves released at a wedding? Picture a grassy meadow and barefoot preschoolers skipping happily while butterflies flutter overhead.

This was so not that experience.

Each butterfly gripped my finger for dear life. In the end, 10 butterflies were left clinging desperately to a bush. My class waved good-bye, quickly moving on to thoughts of recess and lunch.

It took me a few days to let go of my disappointment and erase the meadow vision from my mind…it’s probably time to psych myself up for my next anticlimactic experience…you know it’s inevitable.

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