Friday, September 24, 2010

driven to distraction and caterpillars

The AT&T van was outside my home yesterday.  I didn't talk with the driver, but as I pulled out of my driveway and headed to the library with the kids, I expected the Internet to be unavailable upon my return.  We'd been using AT&T high speed Internet for $37 dollars a month.  We don't have a land phone or cable TV, so $37 was the cheapest deal around.   

But alas, I write to you today from my home, so the employee was apparently in the neighborhood on some other business.   The bill is more than thirty days overdue, so I'm sure he'll be back soon.  I have yet to get on the phone and order the disconnection.  

What I will miss most about in-home Internet is the opportunity to connect with another adult.  I lead a fairly isolated life, as is true for many stay-at-home moms.  

It has been a doosey of a morning!  It doesn't matter, somehow, that no one may read this or respond for hours--or respond at all.  It just helps to interact with someone old enough to pour their own drink without spilling it.  Ya know what I mean?

It all started when I sent the children outside for a brief playtime.  I needed to do the morning dishes and get the table ready for school.  Miss Active Toddler Beth is content playing outside when her siblings are with her.  Oftentimes sending them all outside is the only way I can accomplish needed tasks (without a high-enough, working child safety gate, that is).  Don't ask me what we'll do in winter!  

In our backyard, Peter found a caterpillar none of us had seen before.  He was excited and immediately grabbed it, forgetting our no-bare-hands rule.  That rule has been longstanding and is usually followed.  

Back when Peter was four years old we were on a hike, during which Peter found a white caterpillar.  He held it in his hand for about an hour (we had no containers with us).  To make a long story short, his whole hand swelled up a day later, necessitating a doctor visit.  Steroid cream and an oral antihistamine were prescribed. It was a painful experience, in more ways than one.  :)

Anyhow, this morning, in shock, Peter abruptly dropped the caterpillar and screamed.  It did something to his hand (pricked, stabbed--whatever) that triggered a full blown anxiety attack--almost destroying Peter's excitement at having discovered something new.  And in our backyard no less!  

The anxiety pretty much stopped all of us in our tracks.  Peter's behavior often sometimes has that quality about it.  Ahem.  

I felt forced to drop everything and research what kind of caterpillar he'd found, to discover how to treat his hand and calm his anxiety.  He felt sure he would die.  For my part, I knew that a second allergic reaction wouldn't be good, per the doctor's warning.  Whether it depends on being the same type of caterpillar, I don't know.  The prior reaction was not caused by one of the stinging, harmful caterpillars.  It was assumed that it was the amount of time Peter's hand had contact with the caterpillar hairs.  

Neither is this morning's caterpillar one of the dangerous ones, thank goodness.  At any rate, I gave him oral antihistamine.  Peter, that is, not the caterpillar.

And in the meantime the caterpillar--due to having been dropped--slowed his activity level, then began bleeding and dying.  Or rather he was lifeless and appeared to have died (we found out later).  Peter wailed in sadness and pounded the floor, and on the inside, I wailed in stress and sadness.  You see, we were all kind of excited about what it might turn into.  Butterfly or moth?  Colorful or boring?  Big or little?  

We love the mystery of nature.

Now, several hours later, I can report that Peter's caterpillar resurrected itself, as it were.  The bleeding spot repaired itself and he or she is eating contentedly and pooping, but not crawling.  Perhaps we can keep putting the leaves near its mouth until the dear thing is large enough to make a chrysalis--this will be soon, judging from the size.

Our spirits, previously downcast, have been lifted--like on an Easter morn.

But somehow, I still feel like I need a vacation.

Or a handful of chocolate chips.  Or another batch of yummy homemade applesauce.  Or an apple crisp.  

Closing thoughts on the Internet.  More than anything, the Internet is a distraction in our home.  I like that information is at our fingertips, but I can list our research topics and we can look them up all at once on a Tuesday morning at the neighborhood library.  In fact, all uses of the Internet (for us) are better being compartmentalized into a few sittings a week.

Somehow, without this distraction, I think we will truly find each other.  Truly dwell in knowledge of each other.  Unable to escape--no longer driven to distraction--we can better achieve our goals.  

And our goals are these:  

Matthew 22:37-39
Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it:  'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

1 comment:

Sandi said...

It really is a distraction. And I go between walking away and staying with blogging all the time. I have pared down what I read which has helped and set boundaries on when I go to google reader, only email in am and no blogs till QT in the afternoons. I pretty much quit FB. I was reluctant to join and regretted it after I did. I do enjoy the interaction online but honestly there is so much more off line :o)

Blessings to you.