Butterflies and Pancakes


I heard a story years ago about a little girl who passed away unexpectedly. While she was alive she loved drawing butterflies. Everywhere. The crayoned butterflies in an array of bright hues covered her bedroom walls and the fridge in the kitchen. After her death, her mother was reminded of her daughters tenacity and spirit every time she saw a butterfly flit by. The story of her life and subsequent death was written by her mother who explained that now whenever she sees a butterfly she thinks of how very precious time is and to never take life for granted. That story resonated in my soul and I carried that same lesson into my own journey. Whenever I see a butterfly I think automatically of the fragility of life and how I ought to be aware of the precious treasure my loved ones are.
I don’t always tell my children how much they mean to me. Mainly because even as a writer who has a fairly extensive vocabulary, I can’t imagine ever truly being able to put into words the depth and ferocious passion of my love for them. but often times, I simply get caught up in the ebb and flow of day to day life. The house is filled with the sound of running feet and arguments over pettiness and whining over toys. The dogs are barking at nothing. The phone is ringing. Dinner is due to be begun in twenty minutes but I forgot to thaw out the meat. Bills need to be paid, emails need to be replied to, the laundry pile needs to be dealt with before it eats me and the baby has teeth coming in and prefers chewing on my nipple while breastfeeding, even though he owns a vast array of teething tablets, gels and toys. Basically, life gets stressful. And in the midst of dissolving conflict and problem solving and soothing tears and fears, I forget. Sometimes I simply forget to tell them “Hey, I love the heck outta ya, kid. More than I can even put into words right now. But just wanted ya to know, you flipped my entire world upside down when you came outta me and I thank you for it. For real.”
I do tell them. I really do. Don’t call me a mean mom. I give hugs and kisses and snuggles and say I’m proud of them and I love them. I do.
But if I am being honest here, the ratio of times I get on their case over obeying me or cleaning up their toys in comparison to how many times i simply say I Love You is pretty much a totally uneven comparison.
But I think, when my sons are grown and out in the world living their own lives, I truly think, they will look back and know, just KNOW, that I loved them. So very much. Because what I lack in words at times, I make up for with small gestures. That seemingly insignificant stuff that really turns out to be the BIG stuff in the end. Like pancakes. I make my kids the best bomb diggity cool mom pancakes ever. Fluffy with chocolate chips or fresh fruit. Apple pie pancakes with cinnamon and fresh apple slices. Banana pancakes with powdered sugar on top. I make bazillions of silver-dollar-sized pancakes crammed with deliciousness. And it fills my heart with joy to watch my boys, all six of them, sitting down at the table eagerly devouring these homemade treats. I love cooking for my family. There is something so satisfying about creating a meal from scratch and watching your children truly enjoy it. It’s why I do alot of my parenting that way. From scratch I mean. Why I sew pillows by hand for each of my boys every Christmas. Why I read them books, classics that I myself adored as a child.Why I make homemade playdough. Why I spend that extra time putting effort and work into things. Because my children matter to me. Because i love them. Maybe I don’t always say so. Maybe I nag and lecture far more than I praise them. As parents, how many of us, being brutally honest, could disagree with that statement? I’m not proud of it. I’m working on it.
But at the end of the day, if my boys can look back and say “Hey, Mommy made us some awesome pancakes today!”, well thats something. In a culture inundated by fast food franchises and microwavable meals, if I can take some time in the early morning, with my coffee mug still half full and sleep gunk still in the corners of my eyes, to whip up a batch of pancakes from scratch, well, that right there is love. That right there is saying (minus the words) “Hey, I love the heck outta you. So much that I’ll take the extra time to SHOW you.Because maybe I saw a butterfly flit past my window this morning and it reminded me about life and living it and that little girl who isn’t anymore and how precious you are to me so I thought I’d SHOW you by making you pancakes.”
Come to think of it, maybe actions really DO speak louder than words. Sometimes, pancakes are love and butterflies are life. ❤

3 responses »

  1. There are many ways to tell our children we love them…and they know it…yes, it is great to hear the words but sometimes, actions speak louder than words. Cliché I know but yes, its true. 😉

  2. Can I get your homemade pancakes recipe? You made me do some thinking and I could definitely step up in a few ways. Like relying on the microwave less. If its cool will you Facebook link it to me? I adore YOU as usual. Love this blog.

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