Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Butterfly

If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies. - Unknown

When I look at this picture of Austin, I just want to laugh out loud! Isn't he absolutely adorable. He was only 4 months old in this picture! He has those huge cheeks that widen whenever he smiles. I love it. Oh, I was so concerned at the time. Every time we went to the Doctor, Austin was off the charts in weight. He just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger (which is exactly what babies are supposed to do)! He was truly my little chunk! I cannot tell you how many times I was stopped in grocery stores by concerned elderly women asking me what in the world I was feeding that baby!

I took pictures of Austin in his diaper every month for the first year, and now as I look back over the pictures, I am amazed at the change from month to month, and now year to year! A baby goes through so much growth that first year of life.

We are so scared of change, and yet it is the lack of change that causes a new parent the greatest concern. Growth means change. Growth is both difficult and necessary.

Austin no longer has that baby chunk! He is growing into a little boy every single day. He has moved from rolling over to crawling to walking. He is no longer using sign language as much as his verbal speech develops every day. Today he said "more, chips, mom." I didn't know he knew the word "chips." On Sunday, he was working a puzzle on transportation, pointed to a taxi and said, "taxi, mom." I don't know where he learned the word "taxi!" Oh, he is growing!

This week I am teaching my four year olds a lesson on butterflies, and I am reminded once again how much preschoolers remind me of these flittering creatures. On Tuesday, one of my students, Keira had a birthday. She danced around the room all day making up songs. "Today is my birthday! I love my birthday! I brought cupcakes!" The song had its own unique tune as Keira flittered through the classroom. A little butterfly.

Austin was trying to communicate with me today at the BSM. We were eventually both in tears as his tantrum increased and I kept saying, "Austin, I'm sorry. Mommy just doesn't understand that word." Growth is both confusing and irritating. Just like a caterpillar growing into that beautiful butterfly.

The changes are happening so quickly. The days are flying by and I want him to remain a baby forever. Today, he didn't want to take a nap, so I held him for a few minutes in a big chair, just singing in his ear. "Oh, I want this moment to last forever, I thought to myself!" Then I laughed at the image of a 6'4" college-aged Austin sitting in my lap being sung to by his mommy! Oh, I want to pinch the cheeks of that little four month old boy again! Don't let it go by too quickly, Lord!

"Dear Lord, I pray that you would help me to cherish every moment I have as Austin's mommy. Please let the days go slowly and allow me to capture the memories in my mind. Thank you that preschoolers teach me the importance of growth, and I pray that you would be with Austin as he grows. Lord, please help him to grow up into the man of God that you want him to be. Please never allow me as his mom to inhibit his growth by my own fears."

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