"You did what?" I held my hands over my ears. "No, I don't want to hear the answer to that!"
Sometimes I ask a question in shock, but then I realize: No, I don't want to know.
One day, I learned that lesson the hard way.
It was an unusually warm, 80-degree spring day. My son, Anthony, who is 10, had been home from school for about an hour. He said, "Mom, I’m gonna go out in the backyard and play."
A few minutes later, he came back in the house but then headed right back out the door. As he walked towards the sunroom he took it out. It was a small, clear, plastic container.
I didn’t know what his plans were, but the possibilities were endless. Anthony loves to play with anything nature-related. It may be leaves, sticks, insects, or worms. He explores the designs and details of items he finds. He reads many books about nature with curiosity. I never know what’s going to show up in his little hands.
Anthony ran in the house ten minutes later with about 15 brown, creepy crawly caterpillars in the container. The lid was securely in place - which I was thankful for, I might add. But it grossed me out seeing the worms crawling around in the container.
I pointed and said, “Anthony you have to get those back outside! I don’t like those! And keep the lid ajar so the caterpillars can get some oxygen!”
He took them in the sunroom and began shaking them in the container with the lid on. The creatures must have thought a giant had captured them and was planning to make a smoothie out of them.
I said, "Anthony, get those outside before you spill them."
I felt relieved when he took them outside, but what happened next made my skin crawl just like the wriggling caterpillars.
Anthony walked in the house carrying the empty container. He acted like he had just saved the world by what he had just done. Boys are hunters by nature and he felt like he had accomplished his mission for the day. "You should be thanking me because those things were killing the trees,” he said.
I said, "What did you do with the caterpillars?"
"I buried them."
This is the part when I said, "You did what?" I stopped and put my hands over my ears. “No, I don't want to know!"
When I took my hands away, Anthony said, "I actually cut all their heads off with a stick and then buried them."
“Oh no, Anthony, those were God’s little creatures.” I was trying not to laugh.
Anthony’s smiled and sweetly replied, “Mom, I want you to know my heart was in the right place because they were killing the trees.”
I know that his heart was in the right place. Each summer we have a garden, and many times he will be in the garden picking insects and worms off my plants. In his little heart he felt like he was helping God’s green earth and the trees.
As he came back in the house, he said, “I need to take a shower I have caterpillar guts all over my shirt and some squirted in my eyes.”
I laughed. “Anthony, that sounds like the best idea of the day.”
And every day, the adventurer in him keeps me laughing and smiling.