Navigate / search

Advice from an Expert Worm Catcher

I’m a mom of three preschoolers. That means I get asked roughly 10,000 questions every day. Most of these questions I have answered before, sometimes even within the last 5 minutes. I’ve become so accustomed to these questions that I’m able to answer them without hardly thinking about them. But yesterday, one question stopped me in my tracks. It was a question I had never heard before.

“Mom, can you help us catch worms? Because you are such a good worm finder.”

I don’t want to brag, but I am pretty good at catching worms. The trick is to not use the hand shovel thing. You will cut the worm in half if you dig with one of those. You need to use the little rake thing (can you tell that I am NOT an expert gardener?). The hand rake, or as official gardeners might call it: a cultivator, is the perfect tool for finding worms. It loosens the dirt without splicing the worm. But this post is not about my worm finding technique.

The question above was asked by my 5 year old son. Lately he’s been really into fishing, okay maybe just casting a fishing pole in the front yard, but it’s relatively the same in his mind. He needed worms for bait. Earlier that day, we’d spent some time collecting worms which is where he discovered my mad skills.

At that moment, I could not think of anything more important to do than go outside and dig for worms. The weight of my son’s question was not lost on me.

Most days, I go the entire day without having a moment like I did yesterday. Most days, I worry about the laundry and the dishes and forget that I live with three little people who will not always be so little.

There will come a day when I am no longer the expert worm catcher my son thinks I am. In fact, I won’t be the expert on anything in his mind. He will see me for the flawed human that I am and not think twice about letting me know his opinion of me.

There will come a day when his eyes won’t light up when I tell him I’m subbing for his Sunday School teacher. There will come a day when he won’t climb into bed with me at 6 in the morning and cuddle. There will come a day when I can’t pick him up and tickle him just to hear his adorable belly laugh.

It’s tempting to be sad about the inevitable passing of time. To be angry that we are not able to freeze time during the good moments and enjoy them longer. Because like I said before, these moments do not fill my day. There is laundry to be done and dishes don’t clean themselves.

In two weeks, my worm catching apprentice will enter Kindergarten. For the next 13 years, he’ll spend the majority of his waking hours somewhere without me. I will eat lunch with him only two of the seven days in a week. Our opportunities for worm catching are limited.

So you can understand how easy it was to answer that question yesterday. Only a fool would have said no.


Lauren Hug

Thanks for this, Susan! I was reading it on the way to drop off my son at his first day of school. I’ve homeschooled him up until now, so it is very hard to adjust to the notion of only eating 2 lunches a week with him. But I love your attitude about treasuring the time we have now and growing into the changes in time we’ll have later. Exactly what I needed to hear!

Susan Ward

Lauren, so glad you liked it. First day for you must be tough after homeschooling. Hang in there! I hear it gets better. :)

[...] quite sometime. I’m going to warn you, it’s not about committing to a hairdresser or catching worms. Today’s post has a bit of a different tone. I hope that you’ll hang on until the end. [...]