“Mom did you see it? Over this way, come on and follow it. It might land on a flower!” yelled my oldest child to me as he ran down the hiking path in pursuit of this beautiful butterfly. It is a bit of a quest for my children and me to take one good picture of a butterfly up close. Often times we will chase the butterflies and they never seem to sit still long enough to photograph. This particular day we were on our very last fieldtrip hiking in a park and Ethan spotted it. This was the best picture I could get of him, not on a flower or against a natural background, but on a concrete path.
That’s how life is sometimes. We wanted that perfect picture of our baby at the studio but they fussed and cried and his face was red and puffy. We hope that the school picture will truly define our child’s high points and then we see the ketchup on her shirt or the milk stain above his upper lip.
We idealize so many different areas of our lives and just build them up and when they happen our dream is ho hum. When it comes to that day we have built up for so long sometimes it’s like taking the picture of the butterfly, I finally did it but not with a spectacular background.
So should we just settle or should we be a bit more realistic with our goals? Building up a vacation for our children to an amusement park is so much fun and chances are you will not disappoint them. However, setting unrealistic goals that are for the most part unattainable will only cause disappointment. It would be better to have a goal and be excited for the event but when it happens to find all the good in it possible. Instead of looking at the background we should look at the brilliance of the butterfly. Instead of concentrating on the puffy red cheeks of our baby picture we should remember how cute that baby was back then. Instead of being upset that our child did not look like the model on the packaging of our school pictures appreciate that our child is an ordinary child with a unique smile on her face.
Today, don’t look at the path look at the butterfly. Stop paying attention to all the things that have gone wrong and look at the person in that situation that you love and appreciate them for who they are right now.