"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised." Psalm 113:3

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Releasing the Butterflies. Turtle...

My friend, Susan, at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds, has christened the month of May as "Release The Butterflies" month.
Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Release the Butterflies is about letting go of our preconceived notions and allowing our kids to break out of their cocoons.  Each Wednesday in May, we're going to be attacking that idea with some really inspired blog posts (ideally, lol!), and we'd love for you to join us.  

Today, I'm starting in what feels like the right place--with my first-born.  With her birth, I started my own butterfly journey:  from a caterpillar of a "grown-up" into a butterfly of a "Mommy".

"There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly."  ~Richard Buckminster Fuller

There was nothing in that screaming infant, the one they wouldn't accept into the newborn nursery, that pointed to the quiet young woman...

Nothing in those terrified arms that held the baby as they left the hospital, that pointed to the able Momma...

Nothing in that young man standing beside us that spoke to the Daddy he would become...

Nothing in that little empty house we went home to that spoke of the family it would hold.

Or was there?

My daughter, as a newborn, screamed all the time.  All. The. Time.  


The kind of scream that makes you think you have somehow mistakenly dipped the baby in acid and her skin is burning off.

Laugh if you like, but if you've ever had a baby like that, you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about!

I couldn't make her happy.  We joked that she would stop crying to eat, so as I nursed her over and over and over again, we talked about how goldfish would eat until they burst.

We only halfway joked that it would happen to her.

I was young and thought that this baby thing would be a piece of cake.  Of course, I thought I was way old enough, and smart enough, and "educated" enough to handle anything that could be thrown at me.

I had a great husband, who had a great job, and we had a great marriage.

Then we had this seven-pound, nine point six ounce baby girl, and the hospital had the nerve to put her in our arms and send us home--alone.

And we had NO idea what to do with her.

I look back now, thirteen years later, and the terror is so fresh it feels like yesterday.  

I look back now, thirteen years later, and am shocked that those inexperienced, know-it-all parents who truly knew nothing have somehow managed to--not only keep her alive--raise this wonderful, beautiful, QUIET teenager.

God's grace is a wonderful thing, y'all.

(and just how appropriate is it that this picture is with her favorite caterpillar stuffed animal?!)

My caterpillar was a red-faced screamer who was very particular about things.

She was very smart and quick to learn new skills.

She was shy and curious and happy.

She loved Barney, and pink, and princesses.

Today, my butterfly is thirteen years old.

She hates having her picture taken.

She is still very smart and quick to learn new skills.

She is most comfortable in an oversized sweatshirt, or a soccer uniform.

She is still shy, curious, and mostly happy.

She's hilarious when she gets the giggles.

She loves soccer, Ed Sheeran, and Dance Moms.

She is on her way toward growing up.  She'll be starting high school in  just a little over a year, and she's been taller than me for several months.  Today I heard her talking to her virtual school teacher about wanting to go into photography when she is older.

That's when I realized how much she is her own person, and the person that God intended her to be.  Photography never entered my mind for her (you know--in that place where we put all of our ideas of what our kids' lives will look like), but it makes sense.

She has gifts--gifts that her Father has given her to use to live the life He dreamed for her.

I'm just amazed that I've been able to stay out of the way--kind of.

I'm still a caterpillar Mommy, but this graceful butterfly of a daughter is starting to spread out her wings and take short flights on her own strength, and on her Father's.

Is there anything else I can ask for?  I'm so proud of the young lady she is becoming!

Join the rest of my friends who are blogging about Releasing the Butterflies this month:

Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Embrace the Wild Child, Release the Butterflies 

Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses

Releasing Butterflies this May

Lisa @ Golden Grasses
All The Same and Yet Different


  1. What a beautiful post, Nicole!

    And I know just what it's like to have a first baby who screams seemingly constantly and to have no idea what to do---my "baby" is 13, too. It is amazing how they grew and force us to grow, too.

    1. No kidding! I definitely think I'm the one doing the biggest growing up! It's been a journey...and that's just on the first one, lol!

  2. What a sweet post! My friend had a dd that screamed all.the.time and they seriously considered never having any more chidlren. They would run the vacumn in the corner just to have some white noise! What a beautiful young woman your dd is growing into! Looking forward to your future posts!

    1. Thanks so much for your sweet words! We're enjoying the non-screaming--most days. Sometimes it seems we're still there--teenager hormones are almost as bad as colic I think!



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