Learning to let go of something you love is hard, especially for a four-year-old.
Tonight I released No.1’s ‘pet’ caterpillar into the backyard because I didn’t want it to die overnight in a horrible plastic container.
We found it this morning and put in an air-tight container with lettuce. She loved her new caterpillar, and even gave it a name ‘Caterpillar’ – yep that’s what she called her.
So after she and her ample-legged friend Caterpillar had a busy day of show and tell at Kindy, I told her it was time to set Caterpillar free.
Initially she agreed but once the little sucker frantically ran to the safety of the grass, she burst into hysterics, and stayed this way for an hour or so.
She was devastated to let her ‘pet’ go and hoped that she would be safe, mainly she was worried that she wouldn’t come back and that she would get eaten by spiders.
She has a point in regards to being eaten, but I assured her that Caterpillar had nibbled so much lettuce today that she was about to turn into a butterfly so could fly away from any spiders.
I also explained that sometimes if you love something you have to set it free, and that caterpillars love being outside and it’s not nice to keep them in containers.
After this I mentioned that Caterpillar might die if we kept her in a container all night and wouldn’t that be sad!
But all she could think of was how she felt, and although it sounds harsh I really wanted her to realise that it was important to let Caterpillar go, because that’s what she would have wanted, to be with her caterpillar mates cruising around in the grass.
Maybe I was too tough but I really want my girl to try and put herself in other peoples, and caterpillars, shoes!
Perhaps to make her realise that it’s important to sometimes put the interests of others ahead of your own.
Before kissing her at bedtime I told her to look out for a gorgeous butterfly tomorrow because it would probably be Caterpillar – fluttering around with her friends.
I just hope she wakes up happy, knowing she’s done the right thing by Caterpillar – I know I have.