Wednesday, August 13

bunny the butterfly

A few weeks ago Hailey found a very big and beautiful caterpillar and took it home and put it in a jar...not many animals that get put in jars survive our house, but apparently this caterpillar was different. Against all odds it created the most beautiful green sparkly chrysalis (no joke, I thought hailey had put sparkles on it). It soon got named "bunny" and every single day was checked on to make sure it hadn't become a butterfly overnight! Well, last night I noticed that "bunny" had emerged from the chrysalis and was starting to flap her wings. And this morning it was time to let bunny go. It was time to let her spread her wings and fly away.
Hailey was the proudest little butterfly mom. She carried it outside, she rescued it from the kitties and she gently tucked it up into a lilac bush, then she sat down to watch and wait for it to fly away. Well...bunny either needed more time, or more sunshine or the audience wasn't to her liking, because she never did more than flap her wings. Regardless of how much Hailey coaxed and cheered and encouraged her that butterfly had no intention of leaving her safe haven and we had to leave for swimming lessons. As soon as we got home all the kids piled out of the car to check on bunny in the bush, only to find it empty and bunny nowhere to be found. Hailey immediately started jumping up and down and cheering for her little one who had learned to fly, but the cheers soon turned to tears as she realized that bunny wasn't going to come back and live in the jar on her dresser anymore.
It made me think of being a mommy...
yesterday Jack learned how to ride a 2 wheeler. I was so proud of him. I was jumping up and down and cheering. But, as I watched him ride down the driveway I had to fight back the tears, because my little boy learned how to ride on his own, but he rode away from me and it reminded me that there's going to come a day when he rides off for good. A day when he doesn't stop and turn around and wait for me to cheer him on before going again.
In the bible study I'm doing right now, Lysa shared the verse
"Teach us to number our days carefully, so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts." (Ps.90:12)
and it keeps coming back to my mind. There's only so much time I get with my kiddos and I want to take care to not squander those days and hours that I get.
Today we are playing with caterpillars and butterflies and learning to ride 2 wheelers and use the potty. But, in the blink of an eye these days are going to be gone. As hard as they are. As exhausted as I get. As overwhelming as the demands of 4 little ones can be...I want to look at my days with the wisdom of a woman who knows it will come to an end and cherishes the little moments (and the big ones) for just that reason.
Already I'm having to "look forward" to Hailey starting kindergarten. As excited for her as I am and as much as we are all looking forward to the welcome "relief" from the busyness of the summer that the fall brings- it's hard to imagine my baby being gone all day every day and only getting the weekends to play and just "be" together. It's scary to surrender your baby to God's care and let her walk into the big ugly world. I know we don't have control or "care" of our children, anyways, and that none of us can even pretend that we can protect our children. But, it seems so much easier to keep them safe when they're within arms length. 
I feel much like Hailey did about excited and proud and like I wanna just cheer her on for being so big and grown up and "flying away" like such a big girl, but at the same time I want to just let the tears flow at the thought of my baby spending her day without me.
Ahhh...being a mommy is so tough and so contradictory.

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