Friday, April 3, 2009
Catching Butterflies and Lessons in Love
Yesterday my little girl went butterfly catching. She went with a neighbor, her son and of course my son. They went around the corner to the park where there has been a ton of butterflies due to migrating habits lately.
When they returned my daughter was so proud that she had caught one. There was this precious little butterfly in a little butterfly habitat with a few leaves and some flowers. She proudly showed it to everyone she could and we placed it on top of the bookshelf to keep it out of Blossom the cat's grasp.
I asked her if we were going to let it go, and she looked at me with her big blue eyes and said "NO Mommy! She's my butterfly." I figured we'd deal with it in a few days and let it go. This morning the first thing she did was take down the butterfly habitat and laid down on the floor next to it. She quietly whispered to the butterfly, "Hey girl, how was your night?" Needless to say, my daughter was attached.
Later in the day as I tried to round up my daughter for lunch, she refused to answer me. Which is not too out of the ordinary for my little Diva, so I went in search of her. I found her sitting quietly behind the couch downstairs beside our sliding glass door looking out into the backyard. Before I could tell her to come upstairs for lunch I saw the very crushed look she had on her face. AND the empty butterfly habitat beside her.
I asked her what happened and where her butterfly was. With big tears streaming down she pointed outside where I saw the leaves and flowers on the back patio. "I let her go home, and now I miss her!" She said as she ran to me and burst into a hyper cry.
While part of me broke inside seeing her so sad, a bigger part of me swelled with love and pride. My daughter had just learned a life lesson that I could never explain or teach her. When you love something, set it free.
I ached for her, but told her how happy the butterfly was and how happy the butterfly's family was going to be to see her back home. Then we ate lunch, where she got a couple cookies for being so sweet to her butterfly.
4 years old and already she understands something about love that some adults never understand.
I love being a mom.