Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Butterflies are Free

Copyright © 2007-2008. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

My brother and his wife gave my son a wonderful butterfly kit to keep him occupied during his surgical recovery. It was fun for him to watch the stages of the American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) type butterflies. They arrived in the mail as caterpillars that mostly ate, then they finally changed into an inactive pupal stage...

...that we moved into the larger 'Insect Pavilion'.

Finally the creatures metamorphosed into little butterflies.

My son fed them sugar water on cottonballs, flowers and fruit while he observed them.

He released two per day until they were all free.

It really was a lot of fun.

And I must say the parallels between the butterfly's metamorphosis and my son’s spinal healing was not lost on any of us; even my son.

Yesterday was his first day back to school. I am still on my guard, of course, but also very grateful and relieved. Thanks again to all of you for your kind words and good wishes.

“Once Chuang Chou dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was Chuang Chou. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Chuang Chou. But he didn't know if he was Chuang Chou who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Chuang Chou.” Chang Tao-ling

Copyright © 2007-2008. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.


Cindy, MCOK said...

Dawn, it's good to hear from you and especially great to know that your son's made such great progress in his recovery. What a thoughtful, and lovely, gift from his uncle and aunt!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What fun that you all could watch the butterflies. So good to hear that your son is back to school. A big step for you all.

Annie in Austin said...

Hi Dawn - who knew butterflies could be called Vanessa? That sure was a cool present and it's good to see your post and hear that your son is doing well.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Michelle (The Beartwinsmom) said...

It's great to read a post from you again, Dawn. I still keep you and your son in my thoughts and prayers. I hope his first day of school went well, and that y'all were spared much of the rain from Ike.

I love reading your blog. It's like I'm sitting down with a nice cup of tea and chatting with a friend I've had for a long time. :-)

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

What a beautiful and thoughtful gift. I'm glad that it provided layers of meanings for your son during his recovery. Glad to hear he's back to school. Hope that all goes well.

Pam/Digging said...

What a great gift for a recuperating child. I'm glad to hear the normality of a school day has returned, Dawn.

Mother Nature said...

What a wonderful recovery gift the butterflies are. I love the video. Most of all, I am so happy for you and your son that he is doing so well from the corrective surgery. Life is good.

nina said...

Glad to hear the good news.
Yes, butterflies are a lesson for us all.

Libbys Blog said...

What a lovely present. So glad things are going well!

Dawn said...

Hi Cindy, MCOK,
Yes he's progressing very well, thank you.

Hello Lisa at Greenbow
He loved watching the butterflies. It's good that he's well enough to go back to school, but we've had our ups and downs there. Life is a challenge sometimes.

Dear Annie,
Yes, I liked that name too. :-) I agree, the present was great and so appropriate for a boy whose body was going through such a change as well.

Hi Michelle (The Beartwinsmom),
I hope you're well. Ike missed us entirely.

My son's first day of school was great. He's still very tired after school, of course, but he's doing pretty well considering what he's experienced.

Thanks MSS,
The gift was cool. He had loads of fun with the butterflies and took lots of photos. His favorite part -- which I didn't include in my blog story -- was when two of the butterflies did the 'wild thing' (mated). Yes, we took photos of that too. ;-)

Hi Pam!
Yes, things are slowly getting back to normal...or what passes for normal for us. There's still some things he temporarily cannot do because of his surgery, but he is getting stronger as time passes.

Hello Nina,
I agree; Mother Nature is a great teacher. :-)

Thanks Libby!
Slowly but surely he's gaining in strength and healing. I'm very grateful.

Thanks again to all of you for your kind words. I'm sorry I have been neglectful with my blog of late. I appreciate the good wishes I've received here in the blogosphere.

Thank you!

Bob said...

I did that same thing as a kid but with caterpillers that I caught on plants in the garden. I still look at caterpillers in the garden and know what they will turn into from that little experiment.

Glad to hear he's doing better and can get outside again. That's where little boys should be.gdtsbwg

Andrea said...

hello Dawn, I have thought of your family often and it is so good to hear that your son is recovering nicely, having fun seeing butterflies develop and setting them free. Good luck and best wishes on his continuing recovery. Don't worry about your blog - your child is more important! Andrea

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