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Sarah and the Caterpillar

While getting ready to go to preschool, Sarah sat on my lap and I brushed her hair. We were watching television, something I allow while we get dressed and ready to go. The show was about a caterpillar, which needed to change his clothes. For twenty minutes, we watched the caterpillar eat and sing and move slowly on leaves and trees. When I suggested that the caterpillar would turn into a butterfly, Sarah started whimpering.

I asked, “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t want it to turn into a butterfly,” she said.

“Why not?” I asked. I was a little confused. She likes butterflies, and says they’re pretty when we see one. 

She said, “It makes me sad.”

“What makes you sad?” I asked.

“It makes me sad when things change,” she said.

“Wow,” was about all I could say.

And then the caterpillar turned into a butterfly. And she started crying. She continued to cry as we made our way downstairs. She said it again as I was putting her shoes on, “It makes me sad when things change. When animals change.” I kept telling her it was okay, that things need to change, and that it’s a good thing sometimes. It took awhile for her to calm down, and it took me longer.

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