“He built a small house, called a cocoon, around himself. He stayed inside for more than two weeks. Then he nibbled a hole in the cocoon, pushed his way out and... he was a beautiful butterfly!” This is a quote from Eric Carle's famous children's book The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
They first built a home in my womb, then in my heart, and eventually in my arms, where I bathed and wrapped them with my love.
Now, my first born son is like a little butterfly enjoying his flight; fluttering from one beautiful and colorful flower to another that fills his heart with delight.
"Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life," as Jeffrey Glassberg said of butterflies.
Though I had been at home most of the time since I carried them in my womb, I sometimes feel that my baby boys have grown so fast and I wish that time would be still. That wish I know could not be granted. I can however create many beautiful memories that these little butterflies of mine can carry with them as they fly.
So, yesterday, just like what we did the other day, we created something that warmed our hearts. We painted butterflies. We stamped our paper with vibrant colors and formed the pattern that we envisioned in our minds. We stamped our love and strengthened our bond through another activity of art. Painting, just like reading, has become part and parcel of our lives. It has become our weekly rhythm. It has helped us establish a pattern that weaves our hearts closer to each other.
These activities have become our simple joys as mother and child, as brothers for my boys. And these art works have become some of the tangible proofs or witnesses of the magical moments we share from day to day. Like the paintings we made from their crude little hands and clumsy little feet, and my limited skills, our days are not perfect and without glitches. Every experience though brings with it a unique imprint in the bigger art work that all of us are contributing to in this life.
So, today I pause to thank the Lord for these little butterflies... these beautiful and tender, loving butterflies that grace my heart. They bring me much joy. They bring me God's love. They give me a sense of fulfillment. That at the end of each day, no matter what I experience, I feel glad for I spent time with them to play.
Next month, my little boy Yanthy will be turning four. He sometimes feel that he's already a big boy. He is very spirited and loves to be on the go. He has already learned so much. In fact, he's advanced for his age. But he's still craving for more, always ready to explore.
My baby Mateo will be turning one soon. He has captured our hearts from the moment he was born. He is capturing them still as his many milestones, he hits... filling our days with laughter, filling our hearts with joy and love, filling our minds with memories, and our souls with gratitude for God. His smiles, his claps, the way he stamps his feet to music and song, his giggles, his laughter and his "hellos" -- all these give our hearts and our home a warm glow.
If you're wondering how we did our butterfly paintings, here are the steps:
1. For Yanthy's butterfly, we painted his hands with the colors he chose. He chose red.
2. Then, we painted his thumb and pinky red. He used them to stamp his finger prints to fomr the body of his butterfly.
3. I finished his butterfly by drawing the outline around his hands to form the wings.
4. I drew the antennae and used my thumb to add flowers, leaves and yellow designs on the wings.
5. I used a small paint brush (the one included in a water color set) to add some small dots on the butterfly's wings near the body.
6. For Mateo's butterfly, we painted his feet first. Yanthy chose yellow for Mateo's butterfly. After stamping or pressing it on the paper, we cleaned his feet first before painting his hands. We painted his hands yellow too.
7. I drew the outline once more of the wings.
8. I used a big brush to paint the body of the butterfly and the antennae as well for the lavender designs on the wings.
9. I used the small brush to put the red, round designs on the wings.
10. Then, I painted my thumb to make the flowers and my pointer for the leaves.
11. I used the small brush again dipped this time in lavender paint to put some small dots on the wings.
12. Last step is to air-dry them.
Try painting butterflies with your kids. It's fun! You can click here to see and learn how to paint flowers using your fingers.