Saturday, August 31, 2013

Guilt and butterflies

I am lucky - I don't tend to have much mommy guilt. I have friends who do. Who feel very guilty about working or being away from their kids, etc. There are days I wish I was home with the kids. But for the most part I relish the fact that I have a job I really enjoy (for now), brings me a lot of satisfaction, pays me a nice wage and allows me loads of flexibility to be there for the kids when I want. I am truly lucky. Mommy guilt? Not much here.

But I do feel guilty about one thing.


It might look innocuous enough. My son telling me that I make his heart flutter and saying he loves me. Sweet huh? And brings me loads of guilt.

See it is traumatic enough that I haven't talked about it since it happened. A few days before Mother's Day.

AB says I should have known what was in it! It's obvious right? "Flutter" and in a paper bag, must open it right now and not wait 2 days till Mother's Day. Oh and that they raised butterflies from caterpillars in class.

Duh, right?

Well I missed all the warning signs.

It isn't that I don't like butterflies. I do. They are beautiful. It isn't that I don't like gifts. I love gifts, particularly thoughtful ones from my son. It isn't that I don't like surprises. Well I don't really, but that isn't really the point.

Every year we raise butterflies from caterpillars at home. Then we release them.

Awww! My chunky baby girl with her flame red hair! Wow, how time flies. Anyways...

Note that is AB's hand. He reaches in and pulls the butterflies out. The kids play with them and when the butterflies get tired, they fly off.


Note that *I* am not in any of these pictures.

I stand safely behind the camera at a distance of about 5-6 feet away from the crazy fluttering that may ensue.

Oh and we love the Pacific Science Center's butterfly pavillion!

And I step gingerly inside with the fear that something like this may happen to me. And I might scream some. And please, please, please don't let me slap at it.

It's a location I probably shouldn't even visit. Because I have to supress that desire to squeal a little and flick something off me should it land on me. And I would probably hurt something like this:

Or this:

And then I would feel awful and they would probably kick me out.

So back to that paper bag that I should have known what was in it.

The freaking butterfly flew into my face and I screamed. And I panicked.

And Leif tried to calm me down - "it's ok mom, it's just my butterfly".

And he probably said something about having raised it from a baby caterpillar all himself.

And I shoo'd it out the door and off he flew.


That's my mommy guilt.

Leif tells me it's ok now. He was maybe a bit sad about it at the time, he says. But he is fine now. The butterfly got released into the wild (neighborhood) and that is a good thing. Maybe it will have babies now?

But my guilt remains. It was his Mother's Day gift to me and I freaked. I should not have freaked. I must reign in this fear of fluttery flying things. Must do it before my daughter enters 2nd grade and brings her paper bag Mother's Day gift home. Or at least by then I will remember and it will be obvious when she brings home a bag of a butterfly.

For a little bit there I despised his teacher. How could she not warn us that a fluttery flying thing was coming into the house? But she is such a nice lady, I couldn't blame her for long.

Nope, this is the mommy guilt that *I* carry.

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