The next day we came into the room to see that the first butterfly we had seen yesterday had struggled to get out. He was stuck and seemed to have given up. He was shriveled up a bit and looked hopeless. Also, the other chrysalises were not seeming to progress and had stopped moving. My technicians and I were broken-hearted. What had we done wrong? Why had they not changed properly from caterpillar to butterfly? What more could we have done?
Once the kids came into the room we were busy rehearsing for our Spring program, so nobody seemed to notice the lack of life in the butterfly habitat. There were a few minutes before the school talent show that we were going to attend, so I had a nice quiet moment with the kids explaining death, and animals, and insects. It was sweet as they looked into my face and told about times they had found baby birds that had fallen out of nests, or had kittens that had died. I love those impromptu teaching opportunities. It is also one of my favorite things about being a mother. Anyway, it was good, and on we went to the assembly, and then to the bus to go home. My plan was to clean things up today as we started to prepare in earnest for our Spring program.
I came in and sat at my desk to check my email. Looking into the sad little mesh butterfly house I saw that two of the butterflies had actually emerged and were starting to stretch their little butterfly legs and wings! I was almost giddy with excitement, like when a prayer has been obviously answered. I called to my technicians and we were thrilled about the news. I asked Miss L if maybe we should take the little paper out that held the poor little guy that never broke out of his cocoon, and the two other coffin-like pods that seemed to be lifeless. She suggested we wait and just see. So wait we did.
Later today we were closing things up and I looked into the container to see that a third butterfly had come out, AND that the struggling one was still giving it his best shot. There was movement, and when there is movement in a little butterfly house, there is hope. I couldn't believe it. I was completely ready to cut my losses and get unattached when things started to look up. I almost felt ashamed of myself for being ready to give up so quickly.
By the end of the day there were still just the three out of five chrysalises that had burst open with life, but now I am excited for tomorrow. A miracle for my kiddos and for me to see this beautiful process of transformation in one of God's creations.
Then I left work today thinking about my 13 little caterpillars in my class. How many times have people thought they couldn't learn, or grow, or progress? And now look at them. They are counting. They are reading. They are friends to each other and angels to me. I love my little butterflies, with their brightly colored wings. And as the school year draws to a close I unzip the top and hope they are ready to fly out on their own into the warm sun.