Skip to main content

I want to be a butterfly

December 19, 2014

Dear Julia,

Earlier this week, you and I had a conversation that I’ll never forget. You’re 4-and-a-half (although I feel like I just brought you home from the hospital… I swear I only blinked). You’re so full of life. Your energy and enthusiasm make me smile every day!

We needed groceries. Badly. So we hopped in the car and drove to Sam’s Club. It was one of those evenings when I didn’t have much time after work to make dinner, so we opted for pizza at Sam’s. After ordering a few slices of pepperoni pizza (you may only weigh 31 pounds, but you can put away an entire slice of Sam’s pizza by yourself), I sat down across from you and began cutting your pizza into little bite-size pieces.

You asked me how my day at work went.

By the way, that’s not typical for a preschooler. Most 4-year-olds are only interested in Dora the Explorer. Not you. You like to ask questions. You’re a relationship builder. You care about people’s thoughts and ideas, and you carry on conversations better than many teenagers I know.

So I started talking about my day at work. Advertising, marketing, strategic communications... and you listened politely. Then we talked about careers. We discussed a variety of things that grown-ups do to make a living. We talked about different professions, such as being a teacher, a scientist, a computer engineer, a chef, etc.

I asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up.

I was thinking you might say doctor, lawyer, or President of the United States. But you didn’t. Your answer was profound and perfect.

“I want to be a butterfly.”

I smiled at the honest simplicity of your response. At first, I thought you might be joking, but you were entirely serious. You knew with absolute certainty – and without hesitation – that you were going to be a butterfly when you grew up.

As you finished eating your pizza, I quietly pondered your matter-of-fact response. Tears of joy welled up in my eyes as I thought about what you said.

Butterflies aren’t born as butterflies. They start out as caterpillars. They crawl around slowly, learning about the world around them, growing day by day.

Then they create a chrysalis, cocooning themselves away for a time. Inside that cocoon, a wonderful transformation takes place. They grow wings. They change into a new creature.

As a butterfly emerges from its cocoon, it has to experience incredible pain. As it works to crawl out of the chrysalis, the pressure put on the butterfly’s wings is what enables it to fly. If the cocoon breaks, or someone assists the butterfly in its exit from the cocoon in order to make it easier, the butterfly may not be able to fly because its wings didn’t receive the necessary and life-giving pressure from the chrysalis.

Julia, you will be a beautiful butterfly when you grow up. You may experience times when you feel like you’re only crawling, but that’s an important part of the process. You’re learning about the world around you.

In life, you may encounter pain and pressure. Don’t be alarmed. It is for your benefit. That pressure is building in you the character you’ll need to fly.

Yes, Julia. You’re going to be a butterfly.

A stunningly beautiful butterfly.

And don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.


I love you immensely,

Mommy

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I was a perfectionist. Then I had kids.

Life is messy. Sticky. Goopy.

Some days, I feel I could run a cleaning business. Based on the number of hours spent washing, changing, tidying, scrubbing, folding, and wiping, I often feel that parenting is just one giant exercise in cleaning up.

Before I had kids, my house was fairly clean. My car smelled fairly nice. My schedule was fairly organized. My life was – for the most part – under control.

And control was the key. Control allowed me to manage my responsibilities. Control gave me the power to change my circumstances. I liked control.

Actually, I loved control.

As an ENTJ (the Meyers-Briggs personality assessment is spot on for me), it felt fulfilling to have a sense of control in my life. That’s why parenting was such a major adjustment. I suddenly lost control of so many variables – my time, my space, and even my feelings (Okay, why do Subaru commercials have to be so emotional? I think I cried at every single one of them when I was pregnant).

In the early years of parenting…

Letters to Julia: Toasted Bagels with Cream Cheese

September 6, 2015
Dear Julia,
Today was a full day. We went to church this morning, went shopping, attended a birthday party this afternoon, then came home to a messy house with loads of laundry needing to be done. We opted to play outside with bubbles and sidewalk chalk. The laundry can wait.
After bath time, you brushed your teeth while I brushed your long brown curly hair. Although you’re five years old, you haven’t had a haircut yet – maybe because I know those ringlet curls won’t come back after your first haircut.
I kneeled down next to your bed to tuck you in. As I kissed your forehead, I noticed your face wasn’t as happy as usual, so I asked what was wrong. You said, “My tummy hurts.” I asked, “What would help it feel better?”
“Toasted bagels with cream cheese.”
You didn’t even have to think twice about that. You said you were still hungry even though you ate plenty for dinner. Here’s one of those tough choices that moms face: 1.) Should I say that it’s already past bedtime …

4 Traits of Highly-Engaging Social Media Posts

Digital media consumption is at an all-time high. Millenials no longer rely on traditional and mainstream media producers for the latest news and information. Social media is literally revolutionizing the way people do research and engage with the world. When consumers are formulating opinions about a brand, they rely on peer-to-peer reviews more than high-budget advertising. And they can go directly to social media to get a feel for a brand's true colors before investing in its products or services. With so much information competing for attention on social media, how can you develop a keen strategy for reaching consumers with relevant content? Here are 4 tips: Be succinct. You have exactly 2 seconds to engage your audience. Make your point and make it fast. Save the fine print and flowery details for later.Use imagery. Social media posts with photos capture more engagement than posts without pictures. Your photos should be relevant to your content, and preferably include people.…