The other day the kids and I were in the backyard playing. Reese was digging around in the sand box and started yelling excitedly, "MOMMY! A roly poly! I found a roly poly!". (Much progress from her screams of terror when spying any bug within 50 feet of her).
She scooped up her new little friend and brought him over for me to admire. She even let me hold him for 30 seconds. At her prodding, I gently placed him back on her finger. She gazed at him lovingly, then announced, "I'm going to squish him."
I was horrified! I successfully talked her out of her menacing plan. Of course, she wanted to know what the big deal was. "He's just a bug Mommy," she noted.
"Well....I know..." I sputtered, quickly trying to think of a rational explanation. "But there are certain bugs you just don't squish. Like roly polies....ladybugs....fireflies. Other bugs like spiders, and roaches, are ok to squish."
"What about ants?".
"Ants are ok to squish."
"What about worms?".
"Daddy used to pull worms apart when he was a little boy," she reminded me.
She ran off to share her roly poly with Drue and left me pondering where in the world my Save the Bugs campaign had surfaced from. I drowned many a cricket and worm growing up fishing. And I had squished many a firefly's tushie so I could enjoy their glow longer.
I guess now being a Mother myself, my protective instincts have kicked into high gear...beyond just the human race. That little roly poly is someone's baby. And was plucked out of his cozy resting place in the shade while his Mommy watched in horror. And then to be mercilessly squished? I just couldn't take it....
I am somewhat bothered that I discriminate against the other bugs, however. Spiders and roaches are also someone's babies. But by golly, I have no qualms ending their lives with the sole of my shoe.
Moving into a broader scope of things...I'm not even a vegetarian. I love steak, sausage, you name it. I think that's because I'm just so far removed from the preparation process. If I were raised on a farm, and made friends with little Wilbur, I probably would opt only for a nice green salad instead.
I know I won't be able to save every little creepy crawly creature my kids come in contact with (especially the ones Tate finds/eats), but I at least saved one roly poly. And I'm sure that made a huge difference to his Mother....