a story about butterflies

June 11th, 2018

When our children are little we ask them what they want to be when they grow up. A butterfly, they might say, a fireman, mommy, giraffe, teacher, tiger, truck driver, astronaut! And these are good answers. They are born knowing how to be so they know they can be anything.

But when our children are older we no longer ask them what they want to be. We ask what they want to do. What is lost? What is gained? What happens when we do not release the butterfly?

The End


  1. I always found this is a weird question. “What do you want to be”… I thought I was something already, why be(come) something else? Besides that, I ask my children what problems they want to solve when they grow up. So no “be” or “do” in our house <3

    Comment by Petra — June 11, 2018 @ 11:53 am

  2. A butterfly is innately designed to know what it is to both be and do. The research behind the Monarch is mind blowing.
    Have faith. And confidence in your butterfly.

    However, if one interferes with the chrysalis, out of impatience, curiosity, good intentions, that butterfly will never fly once (if) it emerges. Scary lessons for a parent…

    Comment by MJ — June 11, 2018 @ 3:19 pm

  3. Yes I always keep that in mind myself when my children encounter difficulties. Not always easy though.

    Comment by Simone — June 12, 2018 @ 10:44 am

  4. I would like to paraphrase Byron Katie here, the question she asks is “Who is the do-er?” We breathe, our hearts beat, our bodies digest and all these miraculous things happen without any thought whatsoever.

    Comment by Simone — June 12, 2018 @ 10:42 am

  5. I am not used to posts from you that culminate with “The End”. Please don’t end.

    Comment by Bill — June 13, 2018 @ 4:52 am

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