“YaYa, I went to dance class today and we saw a yellow butterfly on the ground. It couldn’t fly because its wing was broke. It was soooo sad.”
That is sad. Butterflies are supposed to fly, not struggle on the hot asphalt with a broken wing. Desperate to fly, longing to soar in freedom, but grounded by brokenness, even grownups can feel like broken butterflies. Allie and her mommy told me how they tried to pick up the injured butterfly, but it was too delicate and they couldn’t save it. Allie has a tender heart, her mommy says—it’s easy to see that.
I so love my granddaughters. Still babies, their innocence is like a sweet breeze, renewing my soul and reminding me of the pure joy of life we all had before we learned how hard living can be. On especially tough days, Chief and I turn to the miracle hugs of our grandbabies with a quick phone call that asks hopefully, “Can we drop by and see the girls?”
There’s just nothing like being a grandparent. I was told that for years, but when my kids were small I didn’t see how anything could compare with being a mother. Now I finally understand—there’s no comparison.
There’s no pressure now that I’m YaYa instead of Ma-ma. I don’t worry that I’m too strict or lenient—I’m just hangin’ out with the girls. I don’t care if the whole house is covered in baby dolls and dress up clothes. Sometimes I let sleeping toys lie after the girls go home—they’re place savers, waiting for our little playmates’ return. I don’t need ‘just a little peace and quiet’ anymore—I have it in abundance. Instead, the sound of little girl laughter and even the occasional grumpies that echo through our tiled halls is sweet music when the grandbabies come to play.
Now when they drop by, little Juliet comes running through the front door, right behind her big sister, Allie, ready to be swept up in the arms of YaYa or ‘Chee-chee.’ That one cracks me up—it’s Jules’ toddler rendition of ‘Chief.’ When it’s Allie’s turn, we brace ourselves for one of her ‘best squeezie hugs’ around the neck. They’re worth every breath of air crushed by her embrace.
I know how precious and brief is this time with them. We soak up every vaporous moment, so aware of how quickly childhood disappears.
Just now, days after they last visited, I opened the pantry in search of some sugar, found treasures hidden by angels in disguise, and laughed in delight. A smile is almost as good as a squeezie hug.
My granddaughters—even when they’re not here they make my heart soar.
It’s no wonder they care about butterflies with broken wings. Flying comes naturally to angels.