There is something about butterflies starting their long migration to Mexico and my youngest daughter going to Kindergarten that connect for me.
When we released our 3 butterflies this year, there was a mix of joy and sadness and great hope. And a prayer. Because Mexico's a long way off. A lot could happen on that journey.
And then I look at Eden. Her road ahead is unknown too, but these first days in a new school feel very big and daunting and there are some tears.
Release. And flight. And the journey ahead.
I send Eden off, knowing that this is just a tiny part of her journey - one that will hopefully be long and successful. God willing. Some days I pretend to squish her down to baby size so that she won't grow any bigger. But I can't shrink her, or stunt her growth, any more than I can stuff that butterfly back into its broken chrysalis.
Whenever I see a monarch these days, I say a little prayer. For my hands to open in release, and not hold onto what was. For a safe journey. For courage to face the unknown. And for her to always know where home is, and migrate back sooner than I even realize.