About the end of the first or second year into the first job out of college, most people realize that the default status of life is suckiness.
Work is hard (that's why the call it work), and you're more likely to be blamed for the mistakes of others than rewarded for your own excellence.
Life is not and never will be easy. Most people recognize this. Those who don't, become Liberals and expect the government to make everyone happy. Of course, not every day can be all sunshine and butterflies.
But some days can. And it's important to carpe those diems when they happen. Which brings me to about two weeks ago.
We were doing some light work in the 110-degree heat of the back yard when my Supermodel Wife found a flashy-looking caterpillar. It was yellow, black and white striped with a pair of "horns" on either end.
We showed our daughter who was fascinated and immediately put the thing in her bug box. Over the next few days, we fed the voracious creature leaves similar to the ones it was on when we found it. Every day after school we would find lots of leaf stems and caterpillar crap in the bug box.
Then one day it was a cocoon -- a green cocoon with gold glitter.
Fast forward to yesterday. A beautiful, sunny, 80-degree day. We get home and hear fluttering coming from the bug box on the desk where we've been watching it daily.
The Monarch butterfly had emerged from the chrysalis to the amazement of all of us. It was now our sacred duty to take the boxed butterfly outside to set it free.
The poor little guy had some trouble finding his way to the opening at the end of the box. His tiny insect brain couldn't figure out how to climb sideways.
So we tipped the box up on its end, and after a minute or two of trying, he finally emerged from the opening.
In all his glory.
He tested his wings tentatively a few times, then took off and was in the neighbor's tree within a few seconds. From there, we lost track of him.
Sharing these kind of moments with your kids really does cancel out a lot of the crap life hands you. This, along with Boulevard Wheat, is what makes life worth living.
tagged: science, Monarch, butterfly, family, meaning of life, sunshine, photos