Monday, May 16, 2011

Loving Nature and Other Thoughts

I love nature with all its odd/scary/fierce looking living things; from plants to animals to insect.

Today, my daughter found the above spider in our house, she walked right up to it, looked closely at it and then jumped back in shock... not sure why she did that since she squatted so close to it at first. The spider crawled quickly under our couch leaving my husband wondering how he was going to sweep it outside. In the end he decided to sit on the couch and wait for it to venture out from underneath it.

After around ten minutes, my daughter spotted it again walking right next to her only to stop and turn to face her. She jumped up and said, "I found it! There it is!" I tried desperately to sweep it outside as I did not want any one of us to step on it by mistake... besides it might be eating our dear geckos that live on our ceilings. After a few trials, I gave up... it was so quick to scurry and hide... my husband made fun of my sweeping abilities but I honestly did not want to end up breaking one of its limbs. He was more successful than I was. 

I just love how my kids love nature and all its creatures.... They squat to watch: ants carry their food and walk in neat disciplined lines;  beetles flying and hitting the walls with a thud; catfish and turtles while they feed them in the village lakes; some plants eat insects and so on. 

Insect eating plant
Another one!

A baby bird in our garden

My kids are fascinated by creatures and do not like killing or harming them.... which makes me content and relieved that they will grow up to be caring and compassionate human beings. They are not afraid when spotting weird looking creatures... I have always tried to show them how wonderful the little creatures or plants are by holding them and allowing them to touch or hold them... if they were safe to touch of course... They somehow make connections with living things... and learn that they are beautiful despite their creepy appearances.

My son handling a star fish!
My daughter surrounded by hungry nipping fish!

I honestly do not fear many creatures... BUT I try so hard to control my nervousness of seeing cockroaches in the house. We have plenty now that the rainy season has finally hit Bangkok... They come out of the sewers, which disgust me (The cockroaches don't but where they come from does). I never mind cockroaches that I spot outside but once they enter the house... well that is a different story. 

One time, I was working with my son on the computer... he was 3 years old at the time ... there was an open window right next to me and when I rotated the chair around, I spotted one directly in front of my face, standing on the side of the window... I let out a scream of surprise and then remembered that my son was on my lap... I slowly composed myself and said, "Look Puppy (I used to call him puppy as my mother did), a beautiful cockroach... Let's observe it for a minutes!" I just had to do that because I did not want him to develop a fear of small living creatures... and I am glad that I did that... he was so taken by it... watched its every move and when it flew away into another bedroom,  we ran to follow it. Luckily for the cockroach, we opened a window for it to escape. He learned that these creatures are precious no matter how ugly or weird looking they were and that our first option is to help them escape.

My son and daughter always watched me save drowning insects such as beetles, bees or even flies from the pool... place them on the edge and allow the sun to dry their wings. They watched me do that so often, that now they call me to save ones that they had spotted. 

I love nature... I love its healing powers... I learned that from my mother, who always tore a strip off of someone who cut down a tree or picked a beautiful rare flower... She is opinionated and is adamant to teach people not to litter or destroy nature... I used to be embarrassed when I was a little girl of her approaching total strangers and plead with them to protect nature and never litter. 

I remember once when I was around 7, how she honked her car horn to attract the attention of a driver who threw an empty packet of cigarettes outside his window at a round-about. She made him stop the car and park it beside hers... I distinctly remember how she stepped out of the car, walked carefully to the packet of cigarettes, picked it up and told the man,"I believe this is yours. Let us take care of our country and keep it clean." I have to admit that I was embarrassed because she did that often to the extent that I slid under the seat to hide away. But now, I do the same to people I see littering the streets or park places.... and I believe my kids will do the same.... 

My mom was always afraid of big dogs as she had a terrible experience when she was 7 years old.  But never once did she stop us from petting dogs or make us fearful of them. On the contrary, she pushed us to try and touch them. 

My brother and I always brought home stray cats, fed and bathed them... took them in. Despite our mom's grunts (Not another one!), she never said no and helped us buy food and proper dishes for them. She helped our sense of compassion grow and develop. Now, whenever I see a stray dog or cat, I love to feed them... I get reprimanded by my husband because he does not want them to make themselves feel comfortable and use our children's sand pit as their litter box.

Parents should try their best not to share their fears with their children ... We do not want to influence them negatively... they might develop their own fears but it is not up to us to hand down our fears to them as well. We are role models for our kids and it is such a big heavy responsibility


Birdie said...

I love this post! I love all living things too. (Crows are one of my favourite because nobody seems to like them. I enjoyed the post where you mentioned one of your grandparents loved crows too.)
A few months back I was tired and a rather big spider was in my house. I was not in the mood so I flushed it down the toilet. I remember watching it struggle and just feeling awful. I have never killed bugs and I don't know what led me to not care that day. I can't say oh it was just a bug. It is a part of this planet and it is valuable.

I am glad you are teaching your children to love creatures.

Tabouleh said...

Thank you Barbara... I agree... I too love crows was my Iraqi grandfather who raised some in his garden.
Do not be hard on yourself about the spider... sometimes we are not in a state to release any and that is ok... do not feel bad....thanks for commenting... I enjoy reading them so much.

RonJoeWhite aka TheOldGeezer said...

The baby birds and the fish are cool. But the spider is a whole other story! Yikes! He looks pretty scary to me! I'll bet that bug eating plant would like to invite Mr. Spider over for dinner :-)

Tabouleh said...

LOL Ron... the plants are actually extremely tiny... smaller than the spider... but maybe ... you never know.