Butterfly

My eldest child went abroad for half a year. During the holidays I went to the attic with all the photo books I made and looked at my grown child as a baby, toddler, preschooler, school kid, teen. Looking for what is so special about her. Trying to observe again without prejudice. I wrote down all kinds of words describing what I saw and thought, because I wanted to confirm her in who she is, to encourage her on her way, to ‘bless her’.

I hadn’t thought of what I was going to do with this upfront. I just wanted to let it all sink in one more time. Finally I wrote a song. ‘No surprise’, my kids said and okay, it is not so strange that this mom makes a song of course.

The song was only meant for her, to encourage her and to let her know that I love her and always want to be there for her, even when she’s grown up and doesn’t live in my home anymore. Even when she’s far away.

For a while after I sang it to her—we went for a long walk and sat down to have lunch and there I sang it, a very precious moment—I wanted to share it with others. I did it sparingly, because it seemed so boastful to me. Until I remembered years ago over a campfire that I heard another mother sing her song about her daughter. It had really touched me and gave me new ideas for how to communicate love to your child. Perhaps not through a song you wrote yourself, but through poems and songs, through words. Also through the words and songs of others.

That’s why I’m sharing the song, in a slightly modified form, with everyone now. Maybe it will give you words for your child or encourages you to make your own song. Or, maybe you need to hear it yourself, because in God’s eyes you are such a butterfly too.

First published in Dutch on February 10, 2021

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