Tag Archives: growing up


Monarch Butterfly Cocoon, courtesy Wikipedia: User: Umbris

Monarch Butterfly Cocoon, courtesy Wikipedia: User: Umbris

It’s hard not to be fascinated by insects. I will stop to look at a walking leaf or a praying mantis; butterflies always catch my attention, as do dragon flies. Perhaps the most fascinating insects are those that pupate and undergo metamorphosis. Imagine one day being a caterpillar, spinning a cocoon, taking a long nap and then emerging as a butterfly.

I recently realized that humans have a similar process. Babies are born, demand attention, like to be held, make noise and break things. They grow, start school, but the parents’ role stays pretty much the same.

Then, one day, that cute little kid becomes a teenager.

It’s unfair to expect teenagers to spin a cocoon, since they can’t even pick up their socks, but they are able to compensate. Teenagers’ cocoon is their bedroom into which they sequester themselves for several years. It’s not quite as constant as insect larvae; you can spot teenagers—or at least the backs of teenagers—as they root around in the refrigerator or the pantry. Occasionally you’ll see the front of a teenager, immediately behind the outstretched hand with the palm up.

I’ve examined cocoons, but really don’t know what it’s like in one, but I imagine it gets progressively less sanitary over time, just like teenagers’ rooms. The biggest difference is that teenagers’ cocoons have televisions, smartphones, computers or video games. However, the long sequestration is similar among the various species.

There is another similarity. Someday I know that my teenagers will emerge from their cocoons more resplendent than even the most beautiful butterfly. Then, like the butterfly, they’ll stretch their wings and fly away.

Friday Night

Friday night and I worked late on a business trip and have to work tomorrow. Every night before, I came back to my room and did work. Tonight I had the chance to share dinner with my coworkers. It was good.

In the giant scheme of things, though, it reminds me of a story, which I’m sure I’ll get at least slightly wrong –

The teenager got a job at a fast food restaurant after years of being told how important self-esteem was. When the teen was with grandparents the teen pointed out how the job seemed to be below the teen’s importance.

The grandparents dutifully listened, then passed on their wisdom.

“To you working at a restaurant seems like a demeaning task, but when we came to this country, to us it was an opportunity.”