Mothers-in-law pass along many things - the perfect meatloaf recipe, a knowledge of traditional herbs, tips for making pie crust, whatever. My mother-in-law did not share recipes with me, but she did give me her ability to find four leaf clovers.
Familial lore says that one day my mother-in-law was dashing across a lawn trailing her 3 delightful offspring when she suddenly stopped, picked 3 four leaf clovers and gave one to each child.
I had never found a four leaf clover, until one day when I was taking baby Lucy for a walk in her stroller. Something caught my eye and lo and behold, there it was. And after that every time I took her for a walk I'd find at least one. It got sort of silly. I smashed clovers in all my biggest books - they still sometimes fall out when I'm not expecting them.
It may not seem like this is a valuable thing to pass from generation to generation, but I think it's rather like those vague biblical blessings and people killed each other for those so there's got to be something to them. I am pretty sure the import of this will present itself over the years and I am also pretty sure I am on the verge of something big.
I am on the verge of something big because today I found a FIVE LEAF CLOVER. Now don't go leaving me a comment about how it's actually a Barred Cinquefoil and not a clover because I found it and it's a clover just like all its little three-leafed neighbors. So there.
And speaking of things found in nature, there is once again way too much nature inside my house. I know it seems like I'm one of those moms who's all experiential and stuff and is all about growing brine shrimp (my first lesson on the legal system stemmed from my desire to sue the Sea Monkey people for false advertising), but I'm not. I'm not even the kind of mom who would get an ant farm or a worm village or a caterpillar transformation kit.
And yet that's what I have on my bookcase right now: a caterpillar transformation kit. Two, in fact. Lucy and Studley went to a birthday party on mothers day and to add insult to injury they came home with two bug boxes with a total of five caterpillars in them. That's right, by association I got bugs for Mothers Day.
I think caterpillars are fine, as long as they are the fuzzy ones that look like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book. I like my bugs to be cute, thank you. These are not cute. They are brown and lumpy. To make matters worse, once they wrapped themselves up in gross little bundles that look like the aftermath of a sneeze, I had to cut them free of their little cups, being careful not to dislodge them from the lids, and then tape them to the roofs of the bug boxes. I wanted to do this using one of those grabber things that people use to get things off of high shelves, but my kids were watching and I had to appear nonchalant, otherwise they will file away the information and chase me around the house with bugs for the rest of my life. Which would be short.
So in a few days we will have butterflies making their way out of chrysalides. And if they, perchance, find and eat my five leaf clover, I will smash them into my World Atlas where they will be preserved forever.