Sunday, June 3

The importance of frogs.

The previous post was mobile blogged and I wanted to talk a little more about this frog thing.

A long time ago when we lived in Vermont and Eden was about 2 years old, she and I took a walk down to the river at the bottom of our road. We sat and enjoyed the water for a really long time. Then as I glanced to my right, I spotted a frog close enough to catch. I said to Eden "hey, check out that frog." and she looked at it, then she looked at me, and I froze. I realized that this was the moment when I was supposed to teach my daughter how to catch a frog.

But. I didn't know how to catch a frog, and part of me really didn't want to. I stood up and crept over to it real quiet and slow. I put my hands down, but intentionally too slow, and it took about one quick hop away from me. I said to myself, "be brave! Be BRAVE! you do not want your daughter to see you terrified of slimy frog catching!" So I tried again while attempting not to sound nervous while giggling and crying "Silly Frog!" to Eden. I couldn't get up the nerve to be quick enough to catch the bugger, and I walked back to the house feeling defeated and as though I had failed her.

I haven't thought about that moment in years and now here she is in her cousins pond with gianourmous wellies on, slowly creeping up to a slimy green froggy. I flash back to that moment of (what I thought was) poor parenting, and watch her in the present lurching forward and then falling waist deep into the thickest muck this side of Louisiana. She stands up holding her arms up and laughing her pants off.
Photo by Tim

I have to say that was one of my proudest mom moments ever. Proud that she didn't cry or scream (because I would have), and proud because (maybe) through the effort I made trying to catch that frog those 6 years ago, I gave her something to go by. (Of course it occurred to me that her getting into the pond may have had nothing to do with me, but now I know the sulking walk back the the Vermont house was a waste of time, and I didn't in fact scar her for life.)

1 comment:

nell said...

It's kind of crazy how some of those early moments feel so full of import that the tiniest thing can fuck everything up. When your kids are only 2 or 3 or even 5 it seems like it's now or never, and of course, it's not. They will get bigger, and you will get second and third and fiteenth chances.

There are about a million things I want to teach Matilda, and sometimes I have to stop and remind myself that there's plenty of time. I can teach her to knit today and then maybe, tomorrow, we do nothing, you know? 'Cause there's a day after that, too.