I know I should not be thinking about toads right now. The temperature outside is hovering somewhere near zero degrees. The trees are barren and the earth is covered in snow with dead plants peeking out. It is not exactly the time to be thinking about amphibians. However, anxiety for spring, seed catalogs in my mail box, and discovering photos of children with toads will do that to a girl. I wanted you to know that I have discovered something in my adventures in parenthood. Toads are part of my life now.
My son loves to find toads and so does my daughter. They go toad hunting in the spring and all summer long. The first time my son came to me with a toad, I wanted to scream and run in the opposite direction. I am not particularly afraid of toads. I just don’t embrace them as a species. There is no affinity or fondness that resides in my heart. At least, there never used to be.
But when my children go toad hunting and find baby ones and grandpa ones, I see and recognize the delight in their eyes and I myself can’t help but be delighted. There is something magical about holding a creature, albeit slightly slimy, in your hands. To watch their little necks go in and out and to inspect their crazy little feet is certainly something special. Of course, the holding of the toad is sacredly reserved for my children. I could not possibly steal the delight of holding a toad from my children. Can you see the joy radiating on that sweet little face?
While motherhood has held its share of shock and surprise, this was one of the things I have found to be quite amazing. I can look at a toad and smile, all the while cringing inside. Because moms have to be cool. They have to be calm and collected. Even in the face of imminent amphibian danger.