My boys have really started enjoying each other lately. It's a sweet thing. James is moving from "observer" to "participant," and I think Caleb has liked having the playmate...most of the time!
This morning, I found what is locally called a "Texas grasshopper," though I never saw anything like this in Texas. They're huge black grasshoppers, with yellow, green and red markings. They're quite remarkable, and very easy to catch. They're not very jumpy like other grasshoppers. This particular grasshopper was snacking on my corn leaves. I'm starting to see the start of a little ear of corn growing, but I don't have much hope for it, so it didn't bother me to share the harvest. But I grabbed a mason jar and plopped the grasshopper in, to show the boys.
Caleb, of course, was elated. He thought it was so neat. I was very surprised at how James reacted to it...or really that he reacted any more than just gazing at it. He tapped the glass, held the jar, and was very interested in what the grasshopper did.
After the grasshopper took a few tumbles in the mason jar, I thought we might better let him outside to recover, so we headed outdoors.
I tipped the mason jar over and convinced the insect to get out, but after that he had no desire to move. We all stared at him for a minute, and then James reached out, grabbed the thing, and plunked it back in the mason jar! I dumped the grasshopper back out, and James again plopped him back in the jar. It was so funny! And he was as proud of himself as when he gets the triangle in the right hole in the shape sorter at therapy.
Caleb was a little more intimidated by the creature. It was, after all, the biggest grasshopper he'd ever seen. I think it was last summer (or the summer before?) that these bugs were out, and Caleb held one on the way to church. I actually thought there might be a scene when I tried to pull it out of his hand before entering church, but now that he's older, he seemed to have picked up on some people's aversion to bugs.
So, this morning, Caleb was having some trouble figuring out how to grab hold of the grasshopper. James watched him for a few moments, then once again grabbed the grasshopper himself. This time, instead of dropping it in the jar, he held it out to Caleb, as if to say, "See? This is how you hold it." Then he set it down in front of Caleb.
Caleb, who seemed to understand what James was telling him, said, "Thank you!" and tried again. It took another couple of tries before Caleb got it right, but he was proud of himself when he'd gotten the grasshopper back in the jar. (James, meanwhile, was having a conversation with the cat on the other side of the door.)
It finally came time to release the poor creature, but we all enjoyed our touch with nature.
Here's a video of our morning. Enjoy!