My son likes to spend his allowance at the dollar store. He hasn’t learned that cheap toys don’t last. For him it’s all about stretching his two dollars as far as he can. That’s fine but ten minutes after we get home most of his choices fail the usage test. Still he smiles and marches to the cashier, generally presenting money before the item being purchased, and week after week buys junk.
Victory! I talked him into saving and with the help of some extra side jobs, he has nine dollars. Now he’ll see the error of his ways. Off we go to Wal-Mart in search of a more substantial choice than a set of cars with axles already falling off in the bag. Nope. That’s too much money. Take me to a different store he says, clinging to his green. Ugh. So now what? His suggestion … back to the Dollar Store. Oh for Pete’s sake!
Well, a dollar lighter we are home with a super-duper lime green butterfly net which will momentarily be adorned with duct tape to better secure the net to the stick. Chasing butterflies, bugs and hopping critters is a great spring and summer pastime and I applaud his choice in theory.
This spring has been unseasonably cold and we here in mid-America are still getting thermostatic whiplash with a hard freeze following right on the heels of an 82 degree afternoon. Another freeze is coming next week. I’ve told Munchkin that we are not likely to be inundated with morphed caterpillars while the nights still feel like December. Undaunted, he dons a coat and goes in search of the illusive butterfly. I get a cup of tea, wondering if the net will survive long enough to ever whip through the air in pursuit of a Monarch or Painted Lady.
A bit later I’m in search of a too quiet Munchkin. There he is, net full of bright yellow flowers, smiling.
“Whatcha doing?”, I ask.
“Find any butterflies?”
“Nope. But I got these. What are they?”
“Dandelions,” I say resisting the urge to call them weeds.
“Well, Mama, when butterflies aren’t flying, just hunt dandelions!”
Eyes watering, and fighting back a sneeze, I congratulate Munchkin on his catch just as the net full of his bounty is bunged beneath my nose. Once inside I grab a glass of water to wash the pollen from my throat. Munchkin stares at me through my half empty glass. There is something naively profound in knowing he sees my glass half full.