On the last day of school, Caroline came home with a praying mantis she found by the tennis courts. He's missing half an antenna and, of greater concern, half his left forearm. She asked how I thought he might have lost the arm and so far none of our theories would make for a reassuring bedtime story.
I've been detailing a bit of the experience on Instagram, if you care to click the blue icon on the upper left hand corner of this screen...but perhaps you have bigger things to worry about than the fate of one small, inconsequential bug.
That's a pretty good reason to follow his journey, by the way. Not to minimize your problems, but I'm guessing your fate doesn't hang in the balance of you being able to rapidly extricate yourself from a corset-like suit of body armor using just one hand.
Over the weekend I took Caroline to California for a volleyball tournament, leaving Pip (the mantis) in the company of four fruit flies. When I returned, he was all by himself. I take that as an encouraging sign, but he still has yet to molt. Molting is a tenuous process in the best of conditions, dear reader...it's certainly not made more ideal by the absence of one's left arm.
Kingsley, on the other hand, is molting up a storm. He molted a few days ago and as you can see from his previous two exoskeletons, he's rocketing off the growth charts. Peter, from BugsinCyberSpace, thinks Kingsley might be female, which may or may not prompt Caroline to come up with a new name. My girls are rather infamous for naming their hamsters according to a particular gender only to find out they are of the other persuasion...yet retaining the original names and corresponding pronouns anyway.
At any rate, school's out and we are greatly relieved. Later this month I will travel to Canada to visit my dad. I haven't looked at the revision of my novel for quite some time, it seems a bit lost to me at the moment. These and other concerns trouble me but joy and beauty abound, as well. That's life, isn't it? You can't completely shake off your worries but you can realize they coexist with indescribable goodness. I've found that contrast to be almost surreal, at times.
Here's to summer, dear reader. Here's to a break from school. Here's to Pip making it through his next molt and the world becoming a better place. Here's to love, hope, and peace. Here's to slowing down and enjoying the good moments, there are so many.