.:27:. Moth in a Butterfly world.


This is no illusion, yes that is a moth. In a container, in my kitchen… once a cute caterpillar that my girls named Sunny. After they learned about metamorphosis they begged to create a home for it to build its cocoon and turn into a butterfly.

A butterfly.

I informed them at one point that this will be a moth. A simple moth with fragile wings. I’d like to think of this as an allusion to a metaphor we are all stuck in at some point in our lives.

Twofold.

  1. We seek change in ourselves or others and have our own vision of the results, even after they have been revealed.
  2. We live in a world where hiding behind a mask is the norm. At the same time, we are just fine never seeing behind the masks of others. We contently see things how we want them to be, creating an ideal that is impossible to attain.

These, I can confidently say are two scenarios we have all partaken in. Maybe you were the main character, maybe you were the gawker, the hopeful seeker of your imagination. Whatever it may be – you chose to act in a certain way that let a result be something other than what it actually is.

I’m pointing my finger and saying you’ve done this because I believe it’s innate. Mixed with naivety, some lack of knowledge, sprinkled with unrealistic optimism… but still innate. This is not to say that striving for perfection or working to be better in certain areas of life, is bad – but striving for the impossible is just well, not possible.

My children who were told that our cute little fuzzy friend would be a moth, still called it a butterfly even after seeing it as a moth. One of my children said, “oh no, it’s wings are not pretty yet.” Then, after continuing to tell them, “well, this is a moth and this is how Sunny will always be.”, they began to call sunny the moth-butterful. I could see their minds working hard to wrap around the fact that Sunny is not the ‘butterfly’ they thought she would be. Their is an odd dissonence between a sweet furry caterpillar and a simple white moth. Almost as if it just could never be that way or something went wrong. Maybe it didn’t eat through that one piece of chocolate cake, one ice cream cone, one pickle, one slice of Swiss cheese, or one slice of salami like it was suppose to.

The real dilemma here is that I failed as a parent in this lesson. Ok, that’s a bit extreme but I kind of did!! I could have excitedly googled images of moths and talked to them about moths and shared with them the inevitable result of their caterpillar. But darn it, we have a few books that talk about butterflies and in their sweet little minds, that is what a caterpillar turns into! Something with glorious patterned wings that will happily land on your finger while dancing in a field. Lovely thought, huh?

If the extent of our knowledge on a certain topic doesn’t go beyond one result, than how are we suppose to react when we are presenting with a result we didn’t know existed? I halted their knowledge with little care, not realizing how it may affect them. Ok, I know my children will be fine but I missed a very simple teaching opprotunity, as I (dramatically) lament over the life of a moth…

Our poor sweet Sunny, however, is now living in a world that two little hopefuls are imagining for it. Welcomed into a world with unrealistic expectations, as my girls patiently wait for their friend to (never) blossom into the only result they are familiar with – – a butterfly.

I know this is just a moth but how can one not see the analogy? It hit me like a rock.

Let’s think about this for a moment. As people, we need to see each other for all that we are, accepting what we become and what we will always be. At the same time, we need to step back and take a real look at ourselves and love every inch of our being – even if it’s not what we had planned for or what others expected…

THIS IS US.

We are all moths living in a butterfly world yet we can be just as grand as any butterfly, if we confidently peel back our masks and unashamedly delight in our delicate world.

.:24:. To Err.

lemonplant

:: when life gives you a lemon plant, have patience and watch those lemons grow!


During pregnancy or preparing for baby and the first years that follow, parents turn into walking talking teaching machines (and many years after). Trying to avoid error in parenting, perhaps? Unfortunately, error is inevitable.

| To err is human; to forgive is divine.” |                            – Alexander Pope

________________

Well, thank you Mr. Pope but forgiveness to oneself can be difficult and doesn’t feel very divine when I can’t seem to figure out my newborn’s needs, when I’m up all night with an uncomfortable child who can’t tell me what’s wrong, when a kiss on a boo boo is not the answer, when I first heard the words, “I don’t want you, mama.”

>Where did I go wrong? <<

What happened to my machine… that teaches “right” and “best”. How did I err and why does it not feel human?

This is so easy to think and so easy to point the finger at yourself. “Going wrong” is just not the route I thought I took. From the start I did what I was suppose to do.

________________

Per the suggestion of some psychologist somewhere I remember reading children’s books out loud while my little girls developed inside me. Even before that I quickly had my hands on parenting books – making sure my husband and I were well prepared to raise smart, curious and wonderful little people.

>This is where I went wrong.<<

Well, kind of. I’m not saying being prepared, educated and excited is wrong but…

I didn’t allow myself to just be. I found myself referencing every “how-to” book and following steps like a puppet. When I let certain things work themselves out and I relied on my gut for answers – those were the moments we I learned so much more. To watch in awe as their little brains developed. Physiological and emotional growth cannot be fully controlled by anyone else, but that being. It’s a beautiful thing that we (parents) think we have so much control over. We have a little more control at the beginning and then we pray (really hard), that are teachings help them decide what is “right” and “best” as they go from scooting to running a marathon right before out eyes. While they are figuring it all out… they will ERR and it will be ok – especially if we are there to tell them that it’s all ok because they are HUMAN.

We don’t get a report card to see how we’re doing with our children. We don’t get to meet with a coach who high fives us for our victories or benches us for our faults. What we get is this…

>without request, unprompted<< children who say “I wub you mama”. who look you in the eyes and say “thank you”… and then “you’re welcome” – because that’s how they hear it ☺️.  Who joyfully sing their ABCs and really everyother song you sing together. Who surprise you by counting past 10 one day (did I teach them that?) and curiously ask and tell me what color everything in the world is.

They are determined to complete tasks on their own, gently pushing me away… This is new to me. I’m proud but a tiny bit sad that my babies have hit the ‘no mama, I can do it’ stage. They are particular when it comes to colors and specific when we choose books. Decisions are complicated but powerful. When they make one, their excited eyes delight with joy and confidence… “I will brush my own teeth, mama!” “No mama, I will read the book.” “I don’t need to hold your hand, mama.” “I can do it ALL by myself.” This confidence amazes me. They can’t be trusted to do all the above by themselves just yet, but I can’t get in the way of letting them err.  We’ve all heard this and have probably said it before but, they need to fail before they succeed. The common conflict and result from failure is the fear to keep trying, the fear that failure may occur again. We can’t allow this fear in our children and at the same time, we can’t allow this fear in ourselves. We are HUMAN and we need to watch our little ones err, praise them for trying and encourage them to continue, while showing them that we also err and keep going.

As a parent, the most difficult part for me is knowing that they can keep going through failure in all aspects of life. That they can forgive themselves and others who may fail. I will not always be there to offer a helping hand or a wise word when someone shames them for failing, when someone discourages them or denies them the ability to succeed. But I can give them the best tools to embrace err, positively respond to negativity, succeed in their own way and be happy and confident little people.

Thank you Mr. Pope for shedding so much light on us humans – even before your fellow innovator, Mr. Edison, brought us an actual light.

Now, I must get on with my day… embracing err along the way.

 

.:22:. >>2016<< a new year | a new version | no need for resolution.

 

my mini juviniles : Lainybug (L), Hannah bean (R)

–>> a H A P P Y new year.

ball drops | clean slate | the year is NEW and so are you!

The year of chalk art, glitter + selfies has ended… Ha. Just kidding! I’m pretty sure all of the above will just become more 2016ish.

I’m not really one for resolutions.  However, the idea of them is exciting and trying to work on something NEW is great, but I’m fully aware and accepting of the fact that in many ways I may return to myself from the previous year and continue with the routine of life that I’m comfortable with. If you can believe it, I do consider myself a very optimistic person (even though this may not read that way)…

I’m not saying I can’t or won’t start something new, I’m not saying I won’t make or accomplish goals and I’m not faulting those who do make huge changes. To be honest… my belief is that a change of a date and the transition of a new year shouldn’t be what ignites significant change. BUT, our society says it should and well… it works for many people. On the flip side, a new year can leave some people dissapointed, ashamed, doubtful, and unhappy that they couldn’t follow through… that they couldn’t make a real change… that they didn’t see purpose for anything new in their life. Sadly, this view is reality for more people than you might imagine.

So, my plan is to make it simple by taking a general+neutral route and be OK with what will happen this year and what will not happen. I still have goals but the result of accomplishing those goals is not fully dependent on a single date (for me).

If I really had to put these thoughts in the form of a Resolution it would probably go something like this…

In 2016 : Unpredictable, exciting, and sometimes planful events will define the 2016 version of myself and (honestly), my goal this year is… to be OK with however that may happen.

 

Much of what I’m saying, or trying to explain has almost everything to do with the mini juveniles I’ve happily shared a roof with for the past two years. These two (lady bugs and jumping beans) have truly molded me into the person I am right now. Just as they do with their play dough – today I stand tall like a lime green tree and tomorrow I may be a colorful blob on the floor. As a mom of two toddlers, my goals/my plans/my life in general is wholehartedly unpredictable now. Ok, we still make “plans” per say but I’ve learned to roll with the punches more than I ever imagined. My past “go go go” way of living hasn’t fully left me, but I am noticing the need to slow down – especially for my two peanuts whose little leggies can’t keep up with mine all the time.  Now, I’m learning to stop more often and rest with my girls – even when we should be moving and getting things done. I’m taking more moments to really look my children in the eyes when we talk and truly see them learning, understanding and discovering something new!

Prior to children, I had big goals – I made resolutions – and at the end of the year I found myself with mixed feelings… content with the achievement of certain attainable goals as well as disappointed for not reaching goals that I said I would reach. I don’t want my children to see this side of a new year. I don’t want them to think that a date really has the power to make them someone else, give them the ability to be superwomen at the “drop of a ball”, let them make unnecessary changes – just to make a change, I want them to be happy with how life unfolds. I want them to know that they can be superwomen without huge changes, even without telling the world about it… and that’s OK.

My Type A side : has made goals and loves making “to-do” lists of lists… of lists. The realist in me understands how these lists will work – they will be rewritten and rewritten. At the end of the year, I can look back and say…

…I made some pretty great lists and well, I am OK with that.

…I accomplished x y z and well, I am OK with that too.

…I watched my two little people grow, learn and explore a world filled with crazy expectations and well – – – we will all be ok!

Their is something to say about looking back onto a year and simply being content with all that it had to offer and in many ways surprised by unexpected successes!

NYE2016LBJBQuote

 

.:14:. It’s a New Year {for PATIENCE}

 

family

Tried to take a normal picture, then decided it was much easier to enjoy the moment.

As another year passes by and a bright + shiny year begins, I’d be remiss not to reminisce… Not just on the year that flew by, but also the year before that and many of the years prior.

There is something so raw and welcoming about a new year. An untouched palette, a fresh start, beginning anew. The chance to try it again, make things better, challenge, motivate, encourage and accomplish. We can’t wait to fill our plates (that are most likely already full). So, why am I looking back when a new year is about looking forward? Well, for me this new year is a stepping stone to the years ahead. It’s my way of responding to my past. We cannot forget or ignore the past but we can learn from it and improve upon it. I believe it’s so important to reflect on our history in order to continue growing. As I think about goals and “resolutions”, I laugh a little because I know (first hand) how easy they are to break and that it’s really just another year… This year is slightly different. I’m not changing anything too dramatically but I believe that what I want starting now, will uncover some beautifully dramatic results…

>>>PATIENCE<<<

2015 (and the years that follow) will be filled with “enjoying the moment”, caring less about a clean house and more about quality time, less concerned about keeping up with life’s fast pace and more about being thoughtful and thorough, less about feeling rushed and more about accepting my own preparedness and saying “it’s ok”.  It’s not that I wasn’t trying any of this before, but I just wasn’t doing it fully. I wasn’t PATIENT enough.

This will be a year of new experiences, new discoveries, new words, and even new teeth… By the way, teething is an experience I never knew took so much patience! I knew it would be rough.  It’s rough to see your children in pain, hear their screams and cries for mercy as they wait for their pearly whites to slowly break through their delicate baby gums.  Ok, now when I re-read that, I cringe and completely understand why we don’t remember this stage of our life… because nobody is that patient, especially a child who lacks the vocabulary and comprehension to tell you what’s wrong or understand when you say “it will all be ok…it will pass…you’ll be just fine my sweet little peanut”.  They hear gibberish and feel an excruciating pain that only time can fix.

This year is the start of so much for our family… the beginning of that dreaded thing called potty training (times two), learning to share and care, all sorts of growing pains, and probably interesting surprises I just can’t fathom at this moment ;). I hope that 2015 will welcome me and my family to a place we can finally call “home”, where we can settle into a new life, new neighborhood, new house with a real basement and an actual yard (ok, I’m getting greedy now). I’m not naive to the fact that the year ahead is going to be hard – just like the past year was and like next year will most likely be – it’s a sort of “hard” that I have yet to experience because every stage of parenting brings new challenges that nobody is really ever prepared for, even if you’ve had kids before.  Every child comes with very different instructions that require a unique set of skills in order to navigate, understand and develop.  Now, when I say that the year will be “hard”, I’d like to stay away from it’s negative conotation.  Of course it will be hard – – it’s parenting! However, I am determined to accept it and work through all of the craziness with strength, creativity, determination, a lot of humor and most importantly… PATIENCE.

I’ve discovered something about myself throughout the years. Well, I’m IMPATIENT.  I’m sure many can relate and those of you that cannot… I am assuming you are made of gold, your heart beats to the tune of Amazing Grace, and your feathers have never been ruffled because they are absolutely perfect.

To be fair – I’ve met some very patient people that have inspired me.  BUT, we can all use an extra dose or two of this highly necessary virtue called PATIENCE.  Hey, I’d love a RX but it’s not that easy. This is a virtue I’ve been seeking to attain since I can remember. Maybe it was when I was 8 and I secretly (shh don’t tell) found all my Christmas presents before they were wrapped, or when I was 17 and took my parent’s van out for a drive when I shouldn’t have and ended up with a nice dent, or when I was 20 and I lost my patience with a friend whom I believe did me wrong, or especially when I was ONLY 27 and began to question why I wasn’t a mother yet, and then of course a couple years later (29) when I found out I was going to be a mother of twin girls and pregnancy felt like a never ending story of aches, pains, fat feet and unflattering clothes!!  We all carry a lack of patience in some shape or form.  As a mother I’m noticing how important patience is to my itty bitty learners who stumble, fumble, destroy, break, and love so hard it hurts.  My actions, my reactions, and my love for my children and those around me are examples I am setting for this tiny fraction of the next generation I am raising.

PATIENCE isn’t just a resolution or a goal, it’s a must needed change for all and it will be my main focus, right along side my innocent little angels who need me to be PATIENT more than I’ll ever know.

 

“Children are the living message we send to a time we will not see.” ~ Neil Postman