We spent Saturday morning at the arboretum with the kids and Philip’s parents, who were in from out of town. The day was beautiful. The sun was shining, a slight breeze kept the heat at bay, and the colors of the flowers were vibrant. We followed the trails in and out of perfectly manicured landscapes and fantasized about our own yards looking the same.
Not far ahead on our route, two older couples had stalled in the walkway. They appeared to be studying something in their path as one of the women lectured. It was a caterpillar – black, fuzzy, and long. Apparently, it was notable in its nature. The woman had dubbed herself guardian of this fragile creature and marked her post. She was determined to see this caterpillar safely across the trail.
Cue Austin. Austin and I brought up the rear of our own little group. I worked on corralling him along the path as he skipped, zig zagged, and took every opportunity to hang over the barrier separating us from the creek. We reached the convoy surrounding the caterpillar, and Austin quickly maneuvered around them and decided to make a swift side step back in.
“Watch out for the…” SPLAT.
Silence filled the air, followed by horrified expressions and subtle giggles. Austin glances at the little group as if to say, “You’re welcome,” and, then, marches along his way. The sweet innocence of a child.
I looked down at the splat, smiled sheepishly, avoided eye contact, and unsuccessfully attempted to stifle my laughter. Oops.
I half expect to see a “Caterpillar X-ing” and, perhaps, a few “Save the Caterpillars” signs next time we visit the arboretum in honor of the one stuck to the bottom of my child’s shoe.
But, the truth is, I’m kind of impressed with how effortlessly he smashed a bug almost as long as his own foot. It looks like this Momma will never have to squish an insect ever again. Win.