Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Experiences Kids Give Us Make Life So Rich

Zach, the praying mantis!
Over the Christmas break, we drove to Nashville to visit family. Before the trip the discussions began about what to do about our pet Zach -- Tyler's praying mantis. He found him at school a few months ago and has been taking care of him ever since.

We considered leaving Zach with a friend, but Tyler was having a hard time with this. He was also worried about how Zach would do on a nine-hour drive in the cold.

Mostly, it turned out, Tyler did not want to leave Zach behind. So, the day before the trip, he called his Aunt Laura to ask if it would be OK to bring Zach with us to her house. Luckily for Tyler, she said yes.

So, off went the Haisman family with a praying mantis in tow on a nine-hour drive to Nashville. I found myself enjoying the oddity of the experience a couple of times during the trip as we snuck him into a restaurant and our hotel.

The craziest part was the morning we were leaving our hotel to finish our trip to Nashville. Tyler noticed Zach (or shall we say Zacherella) was laying an egg sack. That was quite a surprise, considering we thought she was a he. All four of us were jubilant over it, though! How exciting and unexpected! And the timing -- while on a road trip -- incredible!

We hated to disrupt this maternal moment, but we also wanted to get on the road. So, we very gently put the praying mantis cage in a re-usable shopping bag and carried it carefully down the elevator and past the front desk in the lobby -- hoping not to disrupt the egg-laying process. I was the lucky one who got to carry the cage.

As we were leaving the hotel, Tyler sent Aunt Laura a text message to see if there would be room for about 400 more praying mantises. I was trying to be so delicate with Zacherella, when Laura responded back with a message that had me laughing so hard it freaked Tyler out. She made a hilarious reference to the baby cow we saw being born at a farm during last year's Nashville trip. (I guess our family has a knack for finding themselves in these amazing moments only Mother Nature could provide!)

While it was funny to me, Tyler about died as he saw me laughing so hard while holding the poor praying mantis who was trying to lay her eggs. He kept trying to take the cage away from me, but I wouldn't let him for fear it would end up in the cage lying on the ground!

Anyway, it all worked out. Zacherella is fine. The egg sack is in the garage in the cold to preserve it for spring. We have no idea what to expect with that -- if anything at all.

But, I just had to laugh as I thought about how rich this experience was for our entire family. Kids add so much fun and spice to life. Before having children, I never would have imagined sneaking a praying mantis into a restaurant or hotel -- or even having one for a pet for that matter. Fun times! I just love my kids!

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