Thursday, January 29, 2015

Butterfly in Waiting

I bought this coffee mug while my novel was on submission with publishers.  As I've written about here it was an agonizing process.

I love this mug.  You see, I'm a "The World is Ending" type of person.  It's difficult for me to see the butterfly waiting inside of the caterpillar.  Ok, let me amend that.  I see butterflies in other people all the time.  Just not myself.

The mug reminds me that somewhere deep inside of me is a butterfly too.

My daughter, Gabrielle, is all butterfly.  (Or bubbala as she calls them.)  She has only been with us since March.  Almost a year.

We met her in a hotel room at 8:30 pm.  We had just flown into Jinan from Zhengzhou.  She was already at the hotel when we arrived.

She was almost four years old and had never been outside.  That's right.  She had spent her entire life indoors.

It was a day of firsts for her.  First time outside.  First time seeing westerners.  First time she had been parted from her caregivers.

She was in shock.  She shut down completely.

When she finally did emerge, she choked us.  Told Steve she would "beat him until he died".  Spit on us.  Screamed and cried.  She lined up the dolls we brought her and hit them in the face.

Fast forward to this morning.

She decided she was a princess today and needed to dress the part.  She has preschool this morning, but that didn't dictate her fashion choice.  She went into her closet and pulled out one of her (many) princess dresses.

She is not shy about her "princessness".  It seems innate with her.   We are a jeans and t-shirt kind of family.  I can't remember the last time I put on a dress.  But Gabrielle emerged from her cocoon a full-fledged princess.  It's simply a part of who she is.

And she lets that part out.

I think this is where we often fail.  We remain in our safe cocoon, afraid that we will always be a caterpillar.  No butterflies here.

But that's not true.  The butterfly is there.  It's just hidden in the cocoon, afraid to emerge.

This morning, Gabrielle reminded me (along with my trusty coffee mug) to let my butterfly out.

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