I am not a particularly outdoorsy type of person. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I merely tolerate the outdoors as a means to an end, the end usually being a well air conditioned or heated restaurant. I don’t much care for picnics and I would rather be tossed off a bridge than go camping. I do these things because I want my children to love God’s creation and to experience it’s beauty and perfection in every setting possible rather than just on the National Geographic channel which is where I prefer to experience nature. I do it for them and I have managed to fake it pretty well for the last few years. I take them on nature hikes and to game farms. I let myself be licked by llamas and goats and I have stuck my hand into the sting ray tank at the aquarium. I have inspected bugs in bug boxes and raised tadpoles to frogs. I have taken charge of Rosie the hamster and I have stood still for deer and moose in Maine. I haven’t enjoyed any of it but I do love the pleasure the children get from it all.
In my defense I was unlikely to turn out any differently. I was raised by a woman who considers nature a vast conspiracy to muck up your nice shoes or to drop things on your head. Mom’s idea of roughing it is a three star hotel and being any more than forty miles from Lord and Taylor. (Sorry Mom but it’s true). There is nothing wrong with this, it takes all kinds to make a world and Mom and I would definitely be considered the indoor kind.
Lately nature has been intruding into my house. This makes me very uncomfortable. Kevin has developed a love for all things crawly and has decided that I must share his fascination.
Last week he came running to me as I was feeding one of the babies. “Momma look” as he tossed a big dead bug (I mean a BIG bug) on my lap. My screeching and leaping up from the chair did not deter his joy in the creature. “It’s a big bug Momma,” he says bursting with pride as he fished it off the floor where it landed. I finally convinced him that it would be missing its friends outside. I didn’t even get into the fact that it was dead as a door nail. I just wanted the big ugly thing out of my house.
Since that day I have been brought a few worms, in varying states of trauma, a cricket, a fuzzy catapillar, two spiders and I caught him trying to entice a stray cat into the house. I am so nervous I could jump out of my skin at any moment. I never know when a “look Momma” is going to result in some slimy creature being tossed to me or a cloud of locusts being ushered into the house.
I am in boy country. Dave assures me that this is perfectly normal behavior for a boy and a good mom would encourage his fascination with nature and teach him to respect his buggy friends. Of course, he then gets on the bug-free train to go to his bug-free office and talk to his colleagues who are unlikely to start throwing worms at him or to ask his advice on feeding a cicada.
I am living in stark terror of the next time a dead bird shows up in the yard.
Boy country – an unattractive place, but never boring.