The longer it stayed put, the more puzzled (and even a bit frustrated) I was getting: the boys had steeled themselves for it being be set free, but this was turning into a bit of an anti-climax. The longer the butterfly took, the later it was getting, and I knew if it got too late (and therefore cold), it wouldn't want to fly anyway. Frankly, it was getting a bit inconvenient, not having it conform to my expectations. Then the penny dropped, and I remembered some wise words written by a friend of mine about expectations lately (if she had a blog I would link to it, but it's a work in progress...). Her name is Jai, and she wrote that,
Maybe it's stretching the point a little, but this tiny insect just made me stop and think. When we got them as tiny caterpillars, it was the one that was always slowest to move (at one point we wondered if it was actually alive) - and it was the last to pupate (it finally worked out what it was doing two days after its siblings), the last to emerge from its Chrysalis, and the slowest to leave its home. Basically - it was just different. If insects can be said to be marching to a different drumbeat, this one clearly was! Sometimes butterflies just have a mind of their own, and that's OK! (It's almost 5pm at time of typing, and it's still not left - the air temperature is dropping, and I'm going to have to take it back indorrs and try again tomorrow - at least it's supposed to be nicer weather then)."Adult expectations of our children can be a damaging thing, because if they do not meet them, we can feel disappointed and pass this onto our children, which can damage them for life ... I am a firm believer in the fact that if children are supported and encouraged along their own path, they will grow into confidant and happy children who will feel able to learn and do anything and ultimately this is what will help them succeed in life ... It is not just the school system that can restrict our children, but our own expectations too. Maybe we should come with the warning, “BEWARE! ADULT VIEWPOINT IN OPERATION”! " (Jai Daniels-Freestone, The Freedom Journey, Facebook)
Anyway, I'm hopng you've already picked up on the parallels that I was seeing between butterflies and children, but just in case...: Next time I'm looking at my child and getting frustrated because he's not doing what I expected him to - or because his refusal to comply is getting in the way of my plans, I hope I remember our little individual butterfly, and remember that while it is good to offer encouragement in motivation, and it's good to offer physical support, (not so good to experiment when ignorant of needs), you can't force it! Sometimes he might just be his own person, and if I let him be, he'll get there in the end, in his own time...
For now, I'm going to fetch the net in, put some new fruit in for overnight... and I'll keep you updated tomorrow ;)