The Frog Catcher

I really want to write a post about this past weekend of wonderfulness. But it's been one of those days where I was fried crispy by 10:00 AM. Between my just-back-from-the-jewelers watch deciding not to work regularly (it's French, apparently), the bag of bananas I bought yesterday at the grocery store disappearing into thin air, the hair that is limp and blah and needs a cut and foil immediately and the birthday present I forgot to buy last night at Target, I'm a mess.

Note: If I had an editor, that whole paragraph would be edited down to the last three words.

So while I attempt to right the ship-that-is-me, here's a journal entry I've been wanting to post. I wrote it last summer, when I was on a bit of a bloggy sabbatical.


My son is a frog catcher.

He finds and catches amphibious creatures within five minutes of stepping out the back door. Often, it takes him only seconds to have a gnarled and chubby toad in his grasp. He’s very proud of his ability, although I think it comes to him quite naturally. He just sees them jump and immediately moves in for the grab.

Since this is mid-summer, and we live next to a lake, the frogs and toads are ripe for the picking. Our yard is filled with scores (maybe hundreds) of baby leapers, as well as their larger and more wart-covered parents. Connor almost always ends up with a prize these days when he goes outside.

And therein lies the problem. Baby frogs are often carried in one slightly closed fist. Larger toads are carried tightly squeezed in both hands. In either case, the toad ends up looking like one of those dolls whose eyeballs pop out when you squeeze them. And in at least one case, I saw the fruits of such vigorous love – a baby toad that fell to the ground with a thud when I finally convinced Connor that the frog would be happier outside.

I think rigor mortis had already set in.

Ladies and gentlemen, there are days when I feel like that frog.

I am held so tightly by my children. It’s a loving grasp, for sure. But it’s hard to breathe in there. And when night falls, I fall with a thud into my bed or my computer chair and wait for the Creator to breathe new life into this drained and dry body.

Don’t mistake me. I love my children, and being their mother is a gift beyond measure. It’s a mercy I never expected growing up, seeing as children weren’t on My Life Plan, and it’s one that I’m thankful for every day.

Still. That frog and I have a lot in common. Which is why I remind Connor (and even Natalie, when Connor shares a frog with her) to tread gently and remember that God loves small, slimy and warty creatures too.

Love 'em and watch 'em and hold 'em tight. Just make sure they get some air.


  1. Kelly, I hope tomorrow is brighter. My mom always said, "It'll all look better in the morning" Wise words.

    And, what a fabulous opportunity to share this incredible post! I LOVE it!

  2. My little guy, Will, once loved a salamander right in half. It wasn't pretty. And I know exactly how you feel about life squeezing the dickens out of you. Just know that you are not alone in the crazy. We're out here rooting you on! :)

  3. I love this post.

    Hope your day gets better :)

  4. Love this post. You know all "us moms" can testify!

  5. I'm a frog that hits the ground with a thud too.
    And while thankful for it, I too am exhausted by it.

    Such a great post, thanks for sharing it.

    I hope things will seem better once the weekend arrives!

  6. I love that! Can't believe you sat on it for a year! Very, very nice!

  7. Sometimes when we're a mess, we have to rely on those internal stores we've almost forgotten about. Not only is the "thudding frog" a great analogy, but this jewel of a story you've pulled from the past is also reflective of our ability to be WONDERFUL even when we don't think we are. Your transparency and resourcefulness are DELIGHTFUL!!

  8. I know tomorrow will be a better day for you. It's okay, we all feel like that once in a while - it's a Mother's prerogative. Hang in there!

  9. This is great! I have felt like that frog all week this week. :)

    Also, when I saw him with that frog, my heart swelled, because I love little boys. They're so great. My son is into lizards right now. He is never more proud than when he snags one on his own. The expression on his face says his heart just might burst with excitement! :)

    This is great:
    "I am held so tightly by my children. It’s a loving grasp, for sure. But it’s hard to breathe in there....Don’t mistake me. I love my children, and being their mother is a gift beyond measure."
    I can so so relate to these words.

  10. Wow. This is great! I feel so much like this daily. Here's hoping God gives our little squeezers a more gentle touch. Thanks for the post. (Found you from BooMama)

    Mel in TN

  11. Love this post, and that picture too! What a cutie.
    Ah yes...they can squeeze the life out of us. But it's so worth it. Here's hoping you catch that breather you need soon and right that ship-that-is-you with some well-deserved refreshing of the soul.

  12. This is the most precious thing.

    It may make you feel better - or not - to know we currently have a frog carcass in a mini-terarium in the boys' bedroom. I started to dump it but they wanted to watch it decompose.

    And since I'm either the coolest or most freakish mom EVER, I let them. We are down to a partial skeleton and floating leg.