The Preciousness of Rocks and Inchworms: Lessons from Monty   2 comments

“This is a beautiful rock.  It’s for you,” Monty, age 2, told me today as he handed what can only be described as a beautiful rock to me.  It is yellow and cracked and absolutely not symmetrical. . . I will keep it forever.

I am with my friends Casey and Brian at a cottage in New Brunswick, Canada this week, and Monty is their son, their middle child.  The blonde one, the only boy, the one – it seems to me – who feels the struggle of life the most deeply.  His older sister has language and litheness to guide her, and his little sister carries the gorgeousness of baby fat on her thighs to keep her going.  Monty, though, Monty moves like a tender ball of fire, so fragile, so powerful. Inchworm

Today, he found an inchworm and brought it over for me to see and hold.  To say that holding an inchworm is not high on my list of favorite things to do would be an understatement, but for Monty, I think I would do most anything.  After he took the inchworm back, he dropped it, and the little green creature got squished.  It seemed that the little worm was dead.  As Monty’s mom broke the news to him, he said, “We can just find another one.”  I had to stifle a snicker; this was an important moment to teach him the value of all life, and Casey was delving ahead with grace and sincerity to make this point clear.  But I took comfort in the simplicity of Monty’s mind – there are more caterpillars, more inchworms.  I wish sometimes I could see that way – there will be more moments, more opportunities.  I don’t want to squander the ones I have, but I don’t need to hold them so tightly that I squish them either.

Monty’s lessons for me this day did not end there.  Later, after it became clear the inchworm had apparently not been dead but was simply injured, the family carefully moved him to a leaf and put him outside.  Monty’s dad was sitting there singing for the little worm and reminded Monty not to touch him because he was hurt.  “Make him better now, ” Monty said.  Oh, wow, I want to say that all the time.  Just make this better, God.  Just do it.  There is teaching here, too; sometimes, the lesson takes time to learn.  The inchworm – the moment – only becomes important with time and perspective.  And sometimes, it just won’t do to make it all better, even if we can. Within a few minutes, the inchworm was crawling like a madman, all one-inch of him.  All better, it seemed.

So later in the afternoon, when Monty handed me my beautiful, yellow rock, he was giving me the moment of this day to remember for always.   Asymmetrical and a little cracked, but absolutely beyond gorgeous.  Just like Monty himself.


Posted August 16, 2011 by Andi Cumbo-Floyd in Life Lessons, Parenting

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2 responses to “The Preciousness of Rocks and Inchworms: Lessons from Monty

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  1. Beautiful story 🙂 Children have so much to teach us if we have the patience to listen.

  2. I absolutely agree, Becca. There’s a simplicity to the way children see the world that really refreshes my own perspective.

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