Sunday, 9 May 2010

Butterflies for the Boy

I traced my first pair of butterfly wings in the endless weeks before the babe was born. It was a strange, static time, charged with nine months of anticipation and tempered with sleepless nights full of trepidation.

The babe in my belly was both real and imagined, a very solid physical presence and at the same time shapeless, genderless and surreal. Its presence ought to have been imminent and yet as day followed weary day and my due date became a distant memory, its arrival seemed ever more remote, and it became harder to picture it lying in my arms.

So, in the quiet of the slow afternoons, I traced butterflies onto rainbow-coloured card and threaded my sewing machine with silver thread. I imagined little eyes looking up at the fluttering wings, felt little feet kicking to the rhythm of my heart, and hoped that the babe would arrive before the butterflies were hung.

Six weeks on, the butterflies are finally ready to fly and the little boy, who is so much better than the babe I longingly imagined is ready to look up at them.

Rainbow-bright butterfly wings twirling happily on skeins of silver thread. This, and so many other things, make me happy beyond belief.

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