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.