My son reminded me of several valuable life lesson this weekend. He’s become a little myrmecologist! (entomology is the study of insects and myrmecology is the specific study of ants! Welcome to our world) Literally! My husband and I didn’t know what was happening at first. We’d find him watching YouTube videos on ants! We thought that was weird but didn’t think much of it. Then he began to talk about the ants and we realized that something was happening. He was passionate about the ants…
He began to go on and on about the life cycle of ants. How ants feed. How Queen ants populate the colonies. What they can eat. How they hibernate etc. He went on and on – literally. He dropped really LONG words regarding the genos of ants, and their physiology and body parts. And he didn’t say things like ‘stomach’! LOL My husband and I deduced quickly that Julian had found his passion! He was serious. He loved the ant world!
With his 11th birthday approaching, the gift choice was obvious – ants and an ant farm. Thankfully, my husband and I were smart enough to realize that we couldn’t just buy ‘anything’ so we told him our planned purchase for his birthday to solicit his help in choosing the right ants, products etc. Julian taught us quickly. No ant farms! Formicariums + outworlds only! No cool light up gel for the colony! Sand only.
Through lots of ANT drama and laughs our 3 Queen Ants finally arrived! I thought my son was having a panic attack! You would have thought that the kid was having a baby! I’m talking wringing of the hands, holding his head, pacing back and forth, talking to himself etc! The problem? Mommy in her infinite wisdom ordered 3 Queen ants presuming that one or more might NOT survive the trans-Pacific trip from England. Yes, the Queen Ants came from England! He was stressing with the responsibility of 3 Queens! My husband and I eventually found out that 3 Queens mean 3 of EVERYTHING! 3 formicariums. 3 outworlds. 3 feedings, etc. Yes, we’re still talking ANTS!
I rushed him to Target to find an appropriate box to put the 3 Queens, their test tubes in (they remain in the tubes with their eggs until they hatch and grow to 20 or more). He finally looked at me and said it just wasn’t good enough. He called my husband 5 times while we were out to check on the ANTS! We ended up at Michaels and found the perfect photo box – black inside and out. We picked up some fluffy felt to put in the bottom so the test tubes didn’t roll. Then he insisted on putting protection around the box, and thus our sign as shown below. What did our son teach us?
(1) Life, at any level is precious! Even the smallest of things deserve our sincere attention.
(2) If you’re going to do something you MUST do it right – or don’t bother! My son was resolute in what he felt the 3 Queens needed for a place to rest, and he didn’t let up until he got what he believed was necessary.
(3) It’s important to care for others and other things some times. The entire time we were waiting on the arrival of the 3 Queens, he articulated GREAT concern about them surviving the trans-Pacific trek to Portland! Suddenly our son had stepped outside of himself and was concerned about someone else – the 3 Queens.
(4) Learning still inspires passion beyond belief! The passion that overcomes our son when he talks about something he’s learned about the ants is absolutely astounding! Its awe inspiring and quite simply emotionally overwhelming in a good way. When passion is demonstrated its contagious!
So today, think of my son and the 3 Queen ants… Think about the lives that are most precious to you – what can you do for them today? Whatever you do today – do it to your best ability! Care for someone else today – step outside of your own wants and needs. And finally, think about makes you excited! Where does your passion lie? If you don’t know, find out! If you know, find a way to engage in it today – regardless of how small or minor the action is. You’ll feel AMAZING! The smile says it all…