Wednesday included a trip to Franklin Park Conservatory with Matt’s school class. I make it a point to do as many field trips and classroom events as possible, knowing my opportunities for peer group inclusion to be a finite resource destined for some dry spells during adolescence. Matt still signs me up for everything, astutely avoiding crafts and cooking in favor of the more suitable (for his mom) games and drama/music activities.
The Conservatory was a tranquil respite from our recent unspring-like weather here, making me wonder why I don’t hightail it for the Tropical Rainforest room every February (which is never as diminutive as it presents itself to be on the calendar). We wandered through the Himalayas, the Desert, the Rainforest, Palm House and more -probably enjoying the Pacific Island Water Garden, temporary home to hundreds of butterflies from around the world most of all.
Striking glass sculptures by artist Dale Chihuly grow amongst the organic there, mimicking the natural but with a bold artistic twist.
The kids were alternately thrilled or creeped out by the fluttering insects that landed delicately on their outstretched hands. We happened to be in the room for the daily “birth day” release of new butterflies, and watched the newcomers tentatively take first flight. -Not with the dove-like burst to freedom I’d expected, but rather with measured spurts of confidence slowly expanding to fill a soaring new space.
I wondered how many of those butterflies still felt like caterpillars on the inside…
I guess they’ll figure it out.
I’m hoping the same for all the growing third-graders I hung out with yesterday. I told them they looked an awful lot like fourth-graders at the end of our afternoon which made some of them smile. The biggest concern for many of the boys right now is if they’ll have to hold hands with a girl for square dancing at Pioneer Day next week. Which made me smile…They are darn cute little caterpillars now, but the wings are slowly unfurling. And this transformation… I’ve watched it before… it’s a truly lovely thing.