Caterpillars & Butterflies

Miles:    3.4
Minutes:  24
Pace:  7:30
Staccato Strides w/ the babes – 1.5 miles of jogging and almost 2 of speedwork

How could you not love this face?

The last few weeks have been butterfly weeks for me.  I’ve peaked in my first marathon training, work has been going great, and while there’s always some stress, things have been going along pretty much according to plan (you know the usual drama and suspects behaving accordingly).

Over the weekend I made a judgement call with work and it turned out….well, I chose wrong.   *le sigh*  The caterpillars started creeping in.

In full disclosure, my relationship with guilt trips is like Joan Rivers and plastic surgery – I know it’s not doing me any good, but I just can’t stop.  So little mistakes I make (and the big ones too, let’s not discriminate here) hit me hard and I feel bad awful over the most ridiculously small things.

After work, I grabbed the bambinos from school and hit the park determined to do 2 miles of jogging and 3 miles of speed work.  I was going to beat the little creepy caterpillars making their way into my life.

There will be blood...

Shockingly, my usually cranky about running Vanilla was excited to ride his Razor while I ran.  See…the butterflies were returning.  I had this thing nailed and was going to turn this frown upside down.

Until Strawberry & Vanilla collided on the trail which resulted in blood, scrapes, and tears, and may or may not have resulted in a spunky seven year old chucking his razor five feet into the air while griping he was a failure as an older brother (where in the world does he get this excessive sense of responsibility? *giggle*).

The littles collected themselves and hung out on the grass in the middle of the park trail loop while I finished up 1.5 miles of speedwork.  Strawberry decided to voice his disdain for the world by standing over his razor and having a conversation with it (from the looks of it, the razor won the argument) and then hiding behind a garbage can.  Frustrated, I called it a run after 3.4.   Grrr caterpillars.

Caterpillar hunting

As I was stretching we discovered the entire park was actually full of caterpillars and the boys quite literally had a field day finding them everywhere.

I stretched and laid in the itchy grass breaking into hives (super awesome) staring at the cloudless sky trying to piece it all together.  The day had been hard.  The kids were having a typical Monday -dreading going back to school especially after break.   We were all pretty cranktastic.  And I was feeling very caterpillar-ish in work, in parenting, and now it seeped into my running. 


Then, doing what boys do, we had the following conversation:

Vanilla:  Mom, can we catch all the caterpillars and make a collection?

Me:  Sure, but they have to stay at the park.  I still haven’t found the damage from the cup of rolly pollies you brought in the car a few days ago.

Chocolate:  Great.  We’ll collect them all and then kill them, right boys?

Strawberry:  Awesome idea dude! 

Truth be told, the only part of the conversation that was in English was the part where I talked.  The rest took place through a series of grunts and head nods that I have learned to interpret over the last seven years.

Me:   Boys, you can’t take all the caterpillars and kill them or there’d be no butterflies.

Ugly caterpillars

I wish I could say they learned a lesson and had a poignant moment of enlightenment, but I’m pretty sure that they all grunted and groaned out something resembling, “SO?“.

But at least I had that moment…I remembered – without the caterpillars, there’d be no butterflies.  Without the lame-o days of mistakes and setbacks, I can’t make better choices as a mom, an employee, an athlete, a friend, or whatever other hat I’m wearing that day. Instead of taking the day so seriously and focusing on the ugly little crawly critters littering the park, I need to remember they have a purpose.

Very adult & responsible.

With this revelation it was time to get down to some monkey business.  Nothing says responsible mother of three like running shorts, pig tails and razoring through the park….

And so tonight as Chocolate sat at the bottom of the stairs crying about losing at monkey in the middle (the horror!), I sympathetically mentioned it was hard to be a kid, and his response:

Mommy, it is so hard to be a kid.  So, so hard.  Being 5 is so hard!,” he lamented.  I snuggled him next to me and listened some more.  “And it’s hard to be a person too.  Yeah, being a person is very hard,” he eeked out through sobs.  I wiped the tears from his face and sent him upstairs with a little smile on my face.

ugly butt run of the mill moth

Becoming a butterfly’s tough, sweet pea,” I thought.

I felt all super philosophical and awesome until my fabulous sister identified the caterpillars for me.  Turns out they’re some seriously ugly butt moths.  Awesome.  There went my fab analogy.  Hey, at least they can fly, right?

How about you?  Any caterpillar/butterfly moments lately?  Feel free to post below and share!


2 thoughts on “Caterpillars & Butterflies

  1. Sheila,
    Catepeller moment: working with me…(you get what I’m referring to)
    Butterfly moment: (at least for me) meeting you. I am so glad that I have you in my life (even though it’s not a lot) you brighten my days and bring sunshine and butterflies to my life.
    Thank you!

    • Oh Jamie I so get it! You were certainly one of the very few butterflies that got me through some days at a certain place. And yes, we are certainly due for a get together sometime soon 🙂 And thanks for the encouragement…you’re too sweet!

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