S: Meghan's Magnificent Mariposa
1: Dearest Meghan, Do you remember how I used to tell you stories at bedtime about the little girl and the butterfly? The butterfly, as you know was a beautiful purple and green little guy who always managed to be there when the girl needed to be saved. Well, here's your bedtime story...
2: And the butterfly has stayed perched on the little girl's shoulder all these years. He's been there to watch the little girl grow, and has saved her more times than the little girl ever knew. He helped her find things when they got lost, pushed her out the door so she wouldn't be late for school, and kept her company when she was lonely.
3: He could always help her through things and make her feel safe. But as the little girl got older, and he got older, he noticed that it was getting harder to keep her safe. He was really working overtime these days. His colors began to fade, and his little wings were curling at the ends. He didn't know what to do because he knew he had to keep his strength if he was going to protect his little girl.
4: He stayed close though, and continued to nudge her when he saw her going in the wrong direction./ He was so weary and worried. Could he last long enough to see his girl turn into a young woman? But he knew he had to be there, at least until he was certain that his girl was strong.
5: He had a plan. He sat her down, and in front of her he put a special mirror. She didn't want to look in it at first, but he gently moved the mirror towards her. She still didn't want to look too closely, and just took a peak from the corner of her eye. What she glanced at really caught her by surprise.
6: It wasn't her reflection in the mirror at all. She then took a closer look and realized that while it wasn't her, it was a reflection of her as a young woman. As she gazed at the reflection, the young woman moved through the mirror, as if watching someone walk down the hall.
7: The woman was beautiful and smiling. She was surrounded by children, and they were listening to her intently. She had a book in her hand, and was explaining to them about the things that are most important in life.
8: She shared with them some of the experiences she had had when she was a young girl. She said that first of all, you've got to be true to yourself, and do what's going to make you feel good about yourself---and only you know what that is.
9: As a girl with the butterfly continued to look in the mirror and listen to the woman talk to the children, she noticed that the woman had something hovering over her right shoulder. She looked closer, and couldn't believe that it was her beautiful butterfly.
10: Now she saw the woman talking to an older group of kids, perhaps in their teens. The woman continued much of the same conversation with this group---about what things are most important in life. She said that it's a happy person who can forget themselves long enough to reach out to another person---to listen so well that you can begin to understand what the other person is feeling.
11: The little girl who was not so little anymore, sat and listened to what the woman in the mirror was saying. Her butterfly flew in front of her, watching her eyes, and stayed in a holding pattern. The girl brushed him aside, and he landed back on her shoulder.
12: The girl's attention went back to the mirror. The woman was sitting in a circle surrounded by the kids. One of the kids spoke back and said, "What's that really mean? Do you think what you're saying is really going to make me a happy person?"
13: The woman smiled at him knowingly and said, I remember how hard it was when I was your age. I wasn't making anyone around me happy, and most of all, I wasn't happy with myself. I didn't know what I wanted; I didn't even know who I really was. Then one day it hit me---I'm just working too hard at worrying.
14: I worried about everything, and wasn't enjoying much of anything. I realized that I couldn't do anything about my past---what I did or didn't do---which people liked me or didn't like me. But i sure could do something about 'right now.' It made me relax just to realize that. So, I then asked myself what do I want---what is it that makes me feel good about myself?
15: I decided that only I could make good things happen for me---no one else. And that I had more control than I ever realized.
16: The girl with the butterfly was getting a little bored and picked the butterfly up onto her finger. The woman was saying the same things her mother used to say to her, and after awhile, it didn't have much meaning.
17: But the butterfly wanted to direct the girl to the mirror, and landed on her nose. She brushed him away, and he flew onto the mirror.
18: The girl looked down to see the young, beautiful woman stand up. The kids stayed seated, and a young girl in the group started to cry. She said to the woman, ''What you're saying is all too simple. My life is a mess. My parents don't trust me, and my friends don't believe anything I tell them anymore.'' I'm so lonely. I just want to be loved---I want to be happy like I used to be.''
19: The young woman got tears in her eyes as she glanced down at the girl, because she remembered feeling the very same way. She remembered the hurt and the loneliness this girl was describing. The young woman walked over to the girl and put her arms around her and softly said, ''Do you want to make some changes? Would you really like to turn things around?''
20: She then told her what she'd have to do. By this time, the whole group of kids were focused on the young woman and the girl. Just then, a beautiful purple and green butterfly landed on the crying girl's shoulder, and stayed there as they were talking
21: She said the same things she told the group earlier. She said, ''First you have to think about other people---reach out to others in order to be a friend. You have to decide what you want for yourself---and NEVER let yourself say 'I can't because...', and then go for it.''
22: As the young girl was looking in the mirror, she realized again that she was watching the woman she would be. She also realized that this beautiful, sweet woman with the big smile was doing just what she had wanted for herself---to be a teacher---to work with kids not only with learning English and Math, but about life.
23: And finally, she realized that this woman who would be her someday, was happy.
24: Just then the mirror shook, and when she looked into it, the woman was gone. In her place was her own reflection. She glanced and noticed the butterfly was still sitting on her shoulder, but the colors had come back to their original vivid purple and green. The wings were spread wide and strong.
25: The butterfly knew that his little girl was going to be just fine. And better yet, he knew that she also knew that she was going to be just fine.