It was Teen's spring concert event. She required an early drop-off, just minutes away. The kids were eating, an early and easy meal of frozen pizza and applesauce, Dad was squeezing in his gym-time. So, I left Boy and Youngest at the table to run Teen to pre-concert rehearsal. Simple, multi-need family juggling.
Upon returning, 15 minutes later, Youngest is scootering in the driveway. Her face is pulled down in a frown, announcing to the world at large there is a problem in her realm. She waits for me and being the obliging mother I ask what is going-on.
Bravely she begins to tell me about her hatred for ants. "THEY DESTROY EVERYTHING!" She exclaims as the sobs begin. Great gulping sobs of sorrow and pity.
Wondering if she spied a dead bird serving as a meal for a nearby colony, I ask her why. "They KILLED a caterpillar!" As she collapses into my arms, looking for relief from the cruelness of nature.
I console and cajole her, as I try to scarf down a slice of pizza while comforting and picking a dress for her. Yes, moms should be given attachable limbs at the birth of their first child. Just as I feel she is beyond the worst, may be listening to me remind her that ants eat dead things, "They're garbage collectors, the caterpillar was surely dead," Boy notices the commotion playing out in front of him. In an effort to console, he tells her, "I saved it. I got the ants off and put it in the grass." Bless his heart. I know he was trying merely to appease her. But now there are torrents of tears streaming down her face. Because she knows a dead caterpillar, and that bug was dead.
A search of the area ensues. I left this to the kids, as I really needed to eat something before we left in 3.5 minutes. No caterpillar miracle had been worked. So, I slyly changed the subject, by pulling out Youngest's favorite dress. Threw it over her head and took the sniffling, teary-eyed one and Boy to meet-up with family and listen to a delightful evening of strings. Ahhh parenting.
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