Catching butterflies

Clara loves to chase butterflies. Even during softball practice. But she had never caught one until last weekend.

“I got it! I got it!” she shouted breathlessly, as we played at a park. She stood there in the sunlight with her hands cupped around her treasure, wanting to peek at it, but afraid to let it go.

“You need to let it go, hon, or it won’t be able to breathe,” I told her gently. “Come on…let it fly.”

Clara’s little hands opened slowly and the white wings fluttered into the air. The tears were instant.

“But I didn’t want to let it go!! What if I never, ever catch another one!?”

Letting go is such a tough lesson. She didn’t want to learn it yet. The tears continued until I had an idea.

“Look,” I told Clara. “I took a picture.”

She stopped crying and stared at this image of herself – frozen in time, filled with uncertainty, savoring the beautiful, fleeting moment before she let go of her first butterfly.

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