We witnessed the process of metamorphosis with this catepillar/chrysalis/ butterfly, and I learned something more. We found the catepillar one day after art camp and brought it home with us. We left for New Jersey the following day, and it came with us. While the kids stayed busy playing and barely noticed the little guy, I checked on it frequently. I did this often enough to get teased about my "third child" by Brian and his dad. (I totally deserved it.)
So after a few days - when the catepillar attached itself to the top of the butterfly house - what do you think I did? Did I leave it alone, let it do its thing? No. Instead, I pulled it off, tried to feed it some parsley, and then worried for a day and a half that I had killed it. I kept poking at it to see if it was dead, and everytime I was surprised that it wasn't. Finally, it turned into a chrysalis, with no help from me.
(Side note - the chrysalis was fascinating. It changed color and size. And - if you (I mean I) poked at it, it would wiggle. I had assumed that a chrysalis was a hard shell.)
When we headed over to the lake, we brought the chrysalis with us, and on the first day we were there, it turned into a butterfly. We admired it, showed it to grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, and then released it. I'm quite sure - if had any memory - that it was so glad to be done with us. (I mean me.)
The lesson I learned? Don't meddle so much. Sometimes things are meant to work out, without help (or hinderance). As a mom, I often revise, fix, or comment on what my children do. At times, they deserve a little space to figure it out on their own, to show what good people they can be. (And - I promise not to poke and prod so much the next time we find a catepillar.)