Sunday, August 13, 2006

Day 13: Butterflies Everywhere

States: MA
Total Car Hours: 1 (but not my car!)

As of today, I have been to 2 Butterfly Museums in my life: one in Denver, and one in Western Massachusetts. Both are amazing – lush, green, enclosed spaces filled with butterflies that flit and fly every which way, and sometimes (when one is very lucky) land on a person passing by.

My trip to the Butterfly Museum today was with my sister, cousin, her husband, and their 3 kids. Let me just say that going with multiple children is an entirely different experience than going with my parents or friends (which is what I did in Denver).

Today, we got the boys all excited for the museum before we even left the house. We told them that butterflies would be most likely to land on them if they were wearing brightly colored clothing, so they all wore fun Hawaiian shirts and bright hats/socks/shoes. One even made a “necklace” of sorts out of some green paper with multi-colored flowers taped to it. There was much excitement in the air, and when we finally arrived there, the boys couldn’t wait to go inside and have butterflies landing on them left and right.

The only thing is, the butterflies hadn’t gotten the memo that they should land on the kids.

To attract butterflies, they recommend (in addition to bright colors) that you stay still. This is hard enough for an adult to do, but even more difficult for 3 active boys. But stay still they did, and as they sat there, they looked with eager expectation at each and every butterfly that came near. But none stopped, and as each butterfly continued on without stopping, those eager faces fell a little more.

And as the adults in the situation, there was nothing we could do, but continue to sit quietly with the boys and will the butterflies with every fiber of our beings to make the boys’ day by landing on them just once.

In the end, I think each boy had a butterfly land on him at least one time, but I don’t think it was the mass landing of butterflies that each boy had hoped for while putting on their Hawaiian shirts in the morning. I was disappointed for them that more butterflies hadn’t chosen their shirts to land on throughout our time there, but now, hours later, they seem to be unscarred as they put together a pirate ship and practice riding their unicycles.

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