Nov 08 2007

Using The Butterfly Effect For Big Changes And The Moth Effect For Little Ones

My 3-year old son, Destructo, set out on a mission this morning to save the planet and rid the world of bad guys.

I have learned that children don’t need to burden themselves with understanding the complexities of politics, diplomacy, power, greed and corruption in order to change the world and make it a better place. All they need is a Spiderman shirt, Bob The Builder pajama bottoms, a fresh nappy and a long stick.

I was in the kitchen making lunch, when Destructo emerged ninja-like from the living room carrying a long, yellow plastic beach shovel. His face had the look of concentration of a Master Jedi. On the end of the yellow shovel, lay a very still, curled up moth.

“Daddy, I got a dead moth!”

I was deeply absorbed in my usual thoughts and worries of financial and work-related issues, so I didn’t really pay the necessary attention to the serious matter at hand in my three-year old’s world.

“That’s great, punky! Just drop it over there in the rubbish bin!”

“But it’s not rubbish, Daddy, it’s a dead moth! It needs to go back to the earth to make the grass grow better!”

I was once again exposed as an insensitive grown-up. I stopped making his lunch, took a deep breath and said to my son in a most reverent tone “you’re absolutely right! Let’s return the moth to the earth so it can help the plants grow.”

I opened the door to the back verandah and told him to stay inside because it was raining. Destructo carefully transferred the yellow beach shovel carrying the tiny little corpse over to my care. Holding the shovel tenderly and with great deference, I stepped out into the rain and gently tipped it over the guardrail, watching it drop into the lawn below.

After assuring Destructo that the little moth had now been returned to the earth and was already helping to make the plants grow better, I thanked him for finding it and went back to finish making his lunch.

In his own special way, my little Spidey-clad boy did go and change the world for the better today. He is now re-energizing himself for his next big adventure in the kitchen with a plate of lunch and a glass of milk.

The Lazy Househusband


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