Butterfly Celebrations

blog-butterflies-in-flightOn a very warm September day, I married my best friend. As guests arrived for our wedding, they were given a small box and asked not to open it until cued to do so. After we said our vows, we turned to our friends and family and asked them to open their boxes. Within seconds, 125 butterflies took flight to the surprise and delight of everyone in attendance (with the exception of our photographer, who I’d forgotten to tell about the surprise!).

Today marks our 15th year together. As I was waiting with my daughter for her school bus this morning, she suddenly said, “Look Mom! A butterfly!”

I stared in awe because a butterfly had materialized right between us, fluttered up above our heads and flew out of sight.

Marlana and I smiled at each other…her smile was because she knows I love butterflies. Mine, because it reminded me that I have so much to be thankful for and that God, in all His glory, took time to send me a butterfly on this special day.

Melting Moments

It snowed during the night a couple of weeks ago; and though not odd for our part of the country, it’s not a common occurrence for our southeastern home in Virginia.

Our five-year-old twin boys, were so delighted when they spotted SNOW from the living room window that they rushed out in their pajamas and rain boots at 6:27 am to touch, eat and play in it. I finally convinced them to come in and get ready for school after they decided there was not enough to build anything.

After rushing through breakfast and getting dressed, they asked if they could play in the front yard while I loaded backpacks and started the car. After a couple of minutes, I rounded the corner of our house to see them both dashing through a thin layer of snow toward the end of our neighborhood court.

Although there was little chance of them colliding with a car, I automatically yelled, “Get out of the street boys!”

Then again, “Come back here!”

Of course they never looked back. Their little boy brains had fixated on something and they were consumed. I can still see one twin, his scarf flying behind him while his little arms pumped to move him toward some unknown destination. His fraternal twin, dressed in coat, jeans and cowboy boots ran with that stiff boot gait (hilariously cute!) going stride-for-stride with his more fluid, snow boot brother.

I thought of calling out a third time, but stopped when I realized there was something special about this moment. I mentally forced myself to pause, breath and watch.

In perfect unison, they slowed, turned half-circle, dropped to their backs and started to make…snow angels.

It was beautiful. Simple. A snapshot of twin boyhood full of joy as their laughter echoed through the court. My heart sank for a second as I realized in my daily efforts of training, cajoling, herding and yes, sometimes counting the minutes to bedtime! I’d bit-by-bit forgotten to stop and enjoy them as little people.

I shivered as I inhaled the cold air but let the memory slowly etch itself in my mind. I’m missing it, I realized. And I thought about a wise man and what he whispered in my ear, right before I walked down the aisle to marry my husband.

“Breathe,” he said. “And just be. Let yourself enjoy every moment of this day.  My beautiful girl….”

“Breathe,” he said. “And just be. Let yourself enjoy every moment of this day.”
“My beautiful girl….” he added softly and pushed me into my new life. Fourteen years later I can still recall how he stilled me and the magic of every part of that day.

I exhaled and simultaneously realized if I didn’t take time, time would overtake me. My beautiful boys, I thought as I neared them in the snow. I took a breath, moved onto my back and made a big mommy angel right between two little ones.