Joe and his friend, Pillar

You can lead a caterpillar to a leaf, but you cannot make him eat it. However, if you are my kid, you will try, try and try again.

Yesterday, when I came home from work, Daddy greeted me. “You should ask Joe what he saw today that was cool.” Because I always do what my better half asks of me (*cough*), I turned to Joe and asked, “What did you see today?”

With smile that would light up the darkest hour of the darkest day, Joe beamed and said, “I watched my caterpillar eat almost an entire pepper leaf!” Seconds later, Daddy chimed in, “He did! I saw it, too!” (As if I was going to question the validity of what Joe observed.) “It was so cool.” My husband continued, “The caterpillar ate so fast and so much. He must have been famished.” Joe was still beaming, nodding his head in agreement.

Since yesterday, Joe has been trying to get his pet caterpillar to repeat the eating frenzy. For now, Pillar, as Joe named him, seems to prefer to eat in a more civilized manner.

This morning, I stood by the window and watched Joe . He was outside, sitting next to his caterpillar. I watched as Joe looked in the bucket every few seconds, checking on Pillar. Then, Joe would seem to stare off into his surroundings while remaining vigilant. He made sure none of Pillar’s predators were approaching. Joe and Pillar remained outside for at least 30 minutes, enjoying the world around them.

Earlier this week, a fellow blogger wrote a wonderful post about wonder. I encourage you to take a moment and read “Only Wonder”. While I watched Joe, I could not help but wonder what was going through his mind. I wondered, as I am sure he wondered. As his mom, I wondered “What can I do to encourage his love for nature, insects and animals?”, and “Should I buy him a lizard?” I also noticed and appreciated how he sat there – in the yard – with is caterpillar friend. I thought, “Man, what a cool kid.” “I need to document this moment. This is the stuff that matters.”

So, I walked away from the window to get my camera. I wondered if Joe would still be in the same spot when I returned. He was in the same spot, and I took pictures of him through the window.

When he came inside for lunch, I asked him if I could take a picture of his friend, Pillar. “Sure!” He responded. “And you know what else?” He asked. Without giving me a chance to respond, “Guess what I found, when I got another pepper leaf?”

“What do you mean you got another pepper leaf? You’re not suppose to go to the pool area.” “Well, I know; but earlier you said he looked hungry.” (Smart kid, using Mommy as the reason behind his decision making.)

“What did you find on the pepper leaf?” I half expected him to tell me he found a caterpillar, perhaps named Cat’er. Instead, he held up three fingers and my eyes grew big. “Three caterpillars?!” I asked. “No. Three eggs. Want to see? You can take a picture of the eggs, too.”

I’m not sure what will come of or out of those eggs. Stay tuned. If anyone can see to it that these eggs hatch safely, Joe can.

Pillar, Joe's new best friend.
Triplets on a pepper leaf.

I love my kid. I love both my kids. I love their sense of wonder. I love their appreciation for nature. I love the fact that my kid just yelled, “Hey Mommy! There’s a huge tarantula on TV. You should come see it! Oh! Now, there is a huge millipede. Come look!”


Be kind; take care of yourself and each other, and let yourself get lost in wonder.

29 thoughts on “Joe and his friend, Pillar

  1. Oh He is adorable.
    Nice post Lenore. Appreciating the small moments, seeing the little beauties that we usually miss in our lives. Wow. That’s huge. Thanks for the reminder, and thanks to Joe for showing how to be patient and still with nature.

    1. Thanks GMom. As I watched him, I knew it was a special moment. I wasn’t sure if I should document it or not. But, the fact is – it is such a small and simple moment, it would get lost quickly, you know? So, I grabbed it. Noted it. And, I can reflect back whenever I want …. like when he is driving me crazy!! 🙂 ~ Lenore

  2. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. post. The pictures of little Joe actually brought tears to my eyes. You just never know what to expect from a little kid!!!! And how the HECK did he come up with the name Pillar? Okay as I typed that I realized it’s short for caterpillar as opposed to a “pillar of society.”

    I’m so smart.

    1. Okay, Kim – I completely laughed out loud and snorted. I thought you were being silly with your comment about the name. Hilarious! Thanks for the laugh! ~ Lenore

    1. The Woolly Bear Caterpillar? I know my caterpillars. Okay fine, I Googled dark fuzzy ones with orange stripes. You should go out and find some caterpillars, Spilled Ink. Go! They miss you. 🙂

  3. This makes me happy to hear that not every kid is plugged in 24/7 to an Xbox or PSP. Good for you for encouraging that sense of wonder in nature. Maybe he’ll become a “caterpillar behaviorist” when he grows up. 🙂

    1. There was a time when Joe would tell you he wanted to be an entomologist. We’ll see if that sticks. Oh, and we don’t own a XBox, Wii, PSP, PCP or LSD. 🙂 But, if you’re in the market for slugs, lightening bugs, lady bugs, caterpillars, lizards, etc. Come see us. We can hook you up!

  4. Be sure to always have access to these posts, Lenore. Someday, Joe will be a big, goofy teenager who’s taller than you, and you’ll find yourself wondering where that cute little boy went. Show him what you wrote. Let him look at those pictures. And that little boy will reappear, at least for a few minutes.

    This is wonderful writing. Thank you.

    1. Charles, Rob is 6’7″. Joe will surpass me in height sooner than I’d like to admit. (And I’m 5’10”. Fine, I’m 5’9 1/2″.) Thank you for your suggestion. I will do it. And, I look forward to seeing the reappearance of that little boy – if only for a few minutes.

      It’s a pleasure to see you here, always. Thank you.
      ~ Lenore

  5. I loved this. Such innocence and beauty. And what a smartie! I don’t think I would have known those were caterpillar eggs.

    1. Thanks, Georgette. Your kind words are greatly appreciated. Though I don’t want to see handwriting and taking pen to paper fall to the wayside, I am grateful for the ease of documenting life by blogging. I foresee these posts printed and bound, so the boys know about the life and times of their crazy and crazed Mom. 🙂 (As well as seeing themselves being cute, full of wonder and childlike.) ~ Lenore

  6. One more comment…I’m still here reflecting on this post and how I got here. Love your sliding frames to “catch” a post…this was an out of the ball park catch and I want to cheer “I caught it.”

    1. Comment as many times as you wish. I enjoy the dialogue. I am glad you caught this post, and I am happy to hear it’s caused you to reflect. My work is done. (smile) Hope you’ll catch more. Thanks for subscribing. ~ Lenore

  7. Just a precious post, Lenore. Seriously, have I mentioned to you yet how much I enjoy your writing? Well, I absolutely love reading your posts. And this one really brought a little tear to my eye. Those pictures of him sitting there–oh! Just a perfect moment captured in time. That sense of wonder is so powerful and we are blessed to have our kids to show it to us again and again.

    1. Thank you, Darla. I am glad I can write the good stuff down. It’s nice to go back and re-read it when the not-so-good stuff seems to take over. I love how much Joe is into nature. If he loses his sense of wonder, that will be what I miss most. Not the crawling, baby babbles or first words, but the sense of wonder. The catching of fireflies, ladybugs, butterflies, caterpillars, etc. Surely, I have several more years ahead, right? I hope. Thanks again, Darla. ~ Lenore

  8. Beautiful. And thank you for putting in the pictures. The top two will not ever leave me. If we ever meet, your son and I, I am going to think of him as this little boy with a red shirt, looking out for Pillar.
    And — you’re a wise mom.

    1. Thanks, Wendy. Though I feel it is high time I share some sad news….. neither Pillar nor the mysterious eggs made it. Pillar has passed, and the eggs are gone. Joe seems to be taking the news well, as he searches for new ‘pets’. ~ Lenore

  9. I love that you’ve documented this. I used to be ‘friends’ with lots of little creatures (mostly six legged) when I was a small child and I wish my mum had taken some pics of me or written about it, but thankfully I have my memories. 🙂 I wonder what those eggs would have hatched out to be?

    1. Thank you, Val. I noticed that Priya included the link in her reply to me. I followed the link and read the post again. I enjoy remembering that day – Joe was so proud of Pillar. Sadly, all we have is wonder when it comes to those three eggs…. But wonder is a good thing, right? Thanks for visiting.

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