Lessons Learned Being a Caterpillar Momma

Nothing really poetic here. Just some random lessons I learned over the last month when I chose to be a Caterpillar Momma.


And I have come to realize that perhaps molting is what causes normal to readjust itself. After going through a dark time, we seem to come back and go through a transition time where we are waiting for things to “return to normal” or “get back to the way things were”. It’s hard to grasp the fact that the caterpillar has changed skins. And {icky as it sounds} the caterpillar eats the old skin. So, two ideas.

  1. There is no way Archie or Mona can possibly go back to the way they were. They ate the old them. It’s part of who they are in a weird way. It’s gone.
  2. After each molting Mona and Archie were different for having survived it. The experience changed them, moving them closer to the goal of becoming a butterfly.

Normal has readjusted itself and time marches on. Marches on on those little tiny synchronized feet they have.

Out of frustration one day, I find myself talking to Mona and Archie, saying, “Come on, it’s been plenty long enough. You’re getting way too comfortable in this stage of life. I’ve looked out for you and fed you and cleaned up your poop long enough. I’m tired of watching you waste away just being a caterpillar when you know what you are meant to be – a beautiful Monarch butterfly. Now, get to it! Be what we all know you can be!”

And then finally one day, there Archie was, curled up on the side of his plastic home. Poor guy couldn’t make it to the top. Pretty soon there was a cocoon built around her. Two days later, there was Mona; hanging from the roof in a “J” shape and in a few hours she, too, was encased in a green cocoon. That’s gotta be uncomfortable. Claustrophobic comes to mind. My little brain can’t even comprehend what is going on inside as the transformation begins.

Nope. I will never be a God. I’m surprised my own kids lived through my mothering!

Yet, even still, there is work to be done. Wings are wet and heavy and just like any newborn, there is learning and stumbling and tipping over. So grateful to be blessed with a life full of people willing to help me get my balance, keep my balance, recover my balance and learn to fly.

Mr. Rogers always said to “Look for helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” So very true.

Lesson 7.

I’m not sure I appreciated them enough for their absence is heavy. I’ve already forgotten about the milkweed gathering and how I begrudged it; of how I worried whether the leaves were getting too old and why Mona wasn’t eating and why Archie was such a bully. I’ve forgotten about the frustration of waiting for Mona and Archie to become what they were meant to become on their time; not my time.

But, I can’t begin to imagine the joy of their freedom; of knowing who they are and embarking on that journey of discovery. Their names were so appropriate: Archie means ‘genuine, precious, bold’ and Mona means ‘unreachable wishes’ {but now they are reachable}!

Maybe this month as a Caterpillar Momma has given me fodder for yet another goal. This experience has made me keenly aware of how ungrateful and unappreciative I am of everything my Heavenly Father does for me and gives me on a daily basis. He is definitely the Giver of Grace, of Tender Mercies, of Forgiveness, of New Beginnings and of Spiritual Nourishment. And I have a much better appreciation for how much I lean on His Arm for balance as I learn confidence in my own wings.

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