So, we got a bag of 1,300 ladybugs (which sounds like a 10,000 Maniacs cover band) and let them loose in the rose bed last night. The kids have been enjoying watching them this morning and quickly realized why some were clinging to each other. Ever since we had “the talk” they’re continually surprised that other species have sex, too. You should have seen N’s face yesterday when he asked how cats get pregnant and I told him, (the same way people do). “But how does the sperm get in the mommy cat?” “Male cats have penises, too, dear. All mammals make babies this way.” His mind = blown.
I feel like in some ways it’s the end of an age of innocence, but in another way, it’s an enlarging of their world, they’re beginning to make broader connections and fully realizing things that they’ve intuited to some degree but never truly understood till now.
Like, we also had the conversation that mom and dad are Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy and N asks the other day, “Do parents use Santa Claus as leverage to get kids to behave?” He’s very smart.
I feel like their childhood is slowly peeling away from them, not unlike like a pupae shedding it’s skin into the next stage of growth. I feel like I’m growing and stretching with them, as I navigate new ways to relate to them with less euphemisms, beating around the bush, pretending (about the Easter Bunny, etc.), and no longer saying, “we’ll save that conversation until you’re older.” They’re older, now. This is new territory for me and them, but I feel ready and eager to put on a pith helmet and explore!
B asked, so we looked up, “Why are ladybugs called ladybugs?” and got an interesting answer:
"In Europe, during the Middle Ages, insects were destroying the crops, so the Catholic farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help. Soon the Ladybugs came, ate the plant-destroying pests and saved the crops! The farmers began calling the ladybugs "The Beetles of Our Lady", and they eventually became known as "Lady Beetles"! The red wings represented the Virgin’s cloak and the black spots represented her joys and sorrows. They didn’t differentiate between males and females." —Answer.com