I taught my oldest to kill his own bugs last night. 

This is one of those mommy conundrums…teaching your kid things you’re both proud of and horrified at.  Like killing a living creature.

Proud, because he usually freaks out when there’s a bug and I have to high tail it from wherever I happen to be to “get it.” 

Horrified, because, well, it’s a living thing and deserves to live and all that. 

Truth be told, I’m not generally a bug freer.  If you’re in my house and I catch you, you’re bug guts in a tissue.  Happy trails down the toilet.

But, in teaching my children to respect life and respect the earth and all creatures are God’s creatures, I have tried to curtail my compulsions to destroy. all. bugs.  Besides, maybe I’ll decide I like to free them back into the wild. 

Probably not.  Ladybugs, maybe.  Silverfish and spiders and ants – die, suckahs!

We’re on our way to dinner last night when my daughter notices a package on the front stoop of our house.  Which never ceases to be a big deal or a majorly exciting event.  For me, or my children.  Who doesn’t love getting packages?

Little Meems being the one to spot said package, she got the honors of retrieving it and bringing it to the car for us to gleefully open.  It was an order of shirts I’d been waiting for, which wasn’t super exciting for the kids because it wasn’t something unexpected and wonderful, but was exciting for me because it’s for a big order that someone placed for our shirts for her store in Chile.  CHILE! 

kikibOnan is going international.  Hollah!

As it sat in the back between the Meemster and her brother W, worms started crawling out of it.  Well, let me backtrack.  I noticed, after handing the box back to my kids because there was no room for it up front, that a caterpillar was on my dress.  After a blood-curdling, murderous scream (my husband’s words, not mine – it wasn’t THAT bad) I made him stop the car and I set it free.  Yes.  I did.

So, back to the box in the back.  Suddenly, caterpillars were everywhere, and a chorus of shrieks began coming both in harmony and in stereo.  Which I get.  The kids are, essentially, tied down in a confined space while being tortured with worms crawling all over.  This, my friends, is the stuff nightmares are made of.  As I am in the front seat, and we are now at a busy intersection, I grabbed a napkin and began reaching for worms.  I couldn’t reach them all, so in the peak of the hysteria, I handed W a napkin and screamed “GET THEM.”  Which he did.  Bravely.  “What do I do with them?”

“Smoosh ‘em!”

After a brief pause (in which I’m certain he was trying to assess just how crazy his mother truly is), he then did what he had to do.  I mean, there was no way we could have saved them all.  Nor did I want to, but don’t tell him that.  My rationale is that Mother Nature is a mother too and when her children, like the worms, misbehave, they have to be punished.  Of course I would never smoosh my own children, but I’m speaking in metaphors.  I think.

So, that’s the story of the worms.  Wuhms, as little T calls them.  I never said anything, but I noticed a little change in W's demeanor over the course of the evening.  He was walking a little taller, was a little calmer, a little more mature at dinner…just a little more grown up all around.  As for the squishing thing – well, now he understands that sometimes, you just have to do what you have to do.  Consider your options, and make the best decision. 

And now, he knows he can handle it himself.  

Because of worms.  Wuhms.


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