My boys love all things that crawl and slither. If you have elementary age boys you know what I mean.
Over the past weeks the two of them have caught several preying mantis insects and kept them as pets. The boys catch flies and other insects to feed to their mantis pets and they can easily invest hours each day watching those little creatures crawl about and do whatever it is that mantids do.
One of the mantids, the one they named Goliath, created an egg sack. Next thing I knew I was being asked, “Dad, can you look up on your phone how long preying mantis eggs take to hatch.”
Today, when I arrived home from work, the boys wanted me to take them to a nearby field so they could hunt for more insects (or other things). While driving to the field, I asked Lincoln, “Are you trying to catch things to feed to your mantids or are you going to catch more mantids to keep as pets.” He responded, “We just want to catch anything; beetles, crickets, frogs, anything.”
The field was too dry and darkness came upon us too fast. Our hunt wasn’t very successful. But there’s a funny thing about these hunting excursions; if they’re done with the right people, they are fun and memorable even when no critters are discovered.
My father told me about his childhood bug collection; now he tells those stories to my boys. Catching butterflies and other insects was a favorite pastime of mine when I was young. I still enjoy it. But, even more, I enjoy watching my children explore the wonders of God’s creation – even the slimy, slithery, creepy, crawly parts.