I have a fear of birds. A terrible, terrible, cross the street to avoid them, fear of birds. I’m not sure if this fear stems from living amongst the disgusting hoards of Parisian pigeons or from the bizarre poster of Hitchcock’s The Birds that I remember being transfixed by as a kid, but suffice it to say that I don’t do birds. And that my favorite motto is “a good bird is a dead bird.” Preferable dead, on my plate, after being cooked to perfection, and covered in a delectable sauce.
Listen, I never said I was a good person or a friend of the birds.
But if we’re being very honest here, and apparently we are, I’m not just afraid of birds, I’m afraid over everything with wings. Butterflies included. Yes, sweet, innocent, butterflies.
They make my skin crawl.
So when a friend invited us to a ‘Welcome Back the Monarch Butterflies’ event, told M under no uncertain terms that he was more than welcome to take the girls, and that I would wait for them on the couch, at home.
And I really fully intended to do just that. In fact, 20 minutes before they were scheduled to leave I was still in my pajamas and hadn’t yet had any breakfast. And that’s when M started telling me about the full event – the face painting, the arts & crafts, the music. The girls started to get excited and I tried to explain why I wasn’t coming.
Trust me, nothing makes you feel like more of a wuss than trying to explain to a 2 and 4 year old that you’re afraid of butterflies. Plus, they were going to have fun! Without me!
I blame the lack of breakfast and the spotty sleep I’ve had this past week.
20 minutes later I was showered, dressed, fed, and slipping on my shoes. I was still completely unsure about the whole butterfly part of the day, but I figured that I could hang back, far, far away from their migrating hordes. Maybe let M take the girls into the grove to see them close up.
Of course, and I know you guessed this, I got dragged down to the grove. Despite growing anxiety I read all the informative panels about Monarch Butterflies, learning much along the way. And then, moved by the children’s enthusiasm, I looked around for butterflies.
We saw one. One, poor, sad little butterfly, clinging to a leaf as hundreds of people ohhhhd and ahhhhd at him. He didn’t flap his wings and I didn’t freak out.
There’s been talk of going back in November when more butterflies will have migrated to Santa Cruz. I’ll be sitting out that excursion. It’s best not to start a trend. If I go, who knows what they’ll convince me to go visit after… probably some fancy bird sanctuary or something. Ugh. Shudder.