The Butterfly Child

Andrea - Arlington, Virginia
Entered on March 4, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: change, children
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Life is metamorphosis. We begin as caterpillars fresh out of the warmth and security of an egg. With wide eyes, we slowly begin to explore the world. Days of discovery and nights of rest lead to the release from the cocoon. The child is a butterfly sailing gaily through the air. Brilliant color gleams from the wings and draws attention to the innocent splendor.

I believe children are genuine beings. I believe they are untainted purity. I believe children care. I believe they are compassionate. Like a butterfly, children enthusiastically soar through the world without realizing their beauty. I believe we were all this way once upon a time.

I am at the park gazing across the soil. I smile at my children. They leap through the air aimlessly. Glee bursts from their bodies. He gains momentum and darts under the slide. Suddenly he flattens himself on the ground and slithers across the earth. “Hisssss…I’m a snake,” he whispers. She dashes through an expansive field of pansies. Suddenly she stops. She gazes into the crystal clear sky. Her arms extend above her head and she twirls around and around. “I am a princess,” she squeals delightfully.

I think of the ballerina who lived in my jewelry box when I was a little girl. I remember opening the box, listening to the music, and spinning around my room. The ballerina and I danced in the clouds. It was blissful. I lived in the moment. I believe that child was innocent.

I watch my children sit on a pile of pillows scattered in the center of the room. “Don’t fall into the water,” he exclaims as he rocks side-to-side. She rolls off the boat and giggles uncontrollably. “Don’t worry, I can swim,” she cries while moving her chubby legs and arms. I believe they are in the ocean. They share their imaginations.

We walk down a bustling city street. The air is crisp and our breath clouds the way. The children blow hot air through their mouths. They watch smoke shoot out in amazement. Eventually, the novelty wears off and they are cold. I believe children are inspired.

We stop and buy scarves from a vendor. My son gazes upward and stares at the elderly lady. “Why is her face so wrinkly?” he inquires. I explain she has enjoyed many years full of smiles and joy. Happiness is always present and shown through the lines. As I hold his cold, apple-like cheeks in my bare hands he grins, “I hope my face will have lines, too.” I believe children are honest.

The butterfly continues to soar jubilantly. It is curious and eager. I believe children are virtuous. I believe children can teach. I believe we can learn from them. I believe children are butterflies.