Butterfly Sparks Designs


he gave me my name .

“I don’t know if there’s a line!! It’s so . . . light.”
“What do you mean, you don’t know? I mean, can you see something? If you see anything, that means there is a line!”
“I just, I don’t know!!!”
I wanted so badly to see that pink line that I couldn’t tell if it was really there or if I willed it into being.
“Okay, bring it with you. I need to see it. And you know what you need? You need writing. I’m bringing you a digital test. There’s no guessing.”
And so my faithful friend, Heather, did. I brought my original test, a test that held more hope than it did urine, and she analyzed it right there in that high school . . . the place where we worked, but still kind of felt like school girls ourselves.
“Are you kidding me?? There’s totally a line there!! It’s light but that is most definitely a line! She hugged me and had to run off but said I would feel more sure with the digital test. “Take it”, she looked back, beaming!
The very millisecond I could escape to the bathroom on a break, I did. Not easy while giving standardized, state-wide, testing. This just couldn’t wait. Everything, my status as a human, was hanging in the balance.
Just steps down that hall, I was administering the TAKS test, but in the solitude of that bathroom, I was becoming a mother.
Because there it was . . . in black, digital letters. It spelled, p-r-e-g-n-a-n-t but it read, mother. Womb. “You now have a womb,” it said. “With a real baby in it. And one day, that baby will exit that womb and you’ll see him, hold him, and basically be responsible for growing him. Like forever.
Right there. p-r-e-g-n-a-n-t.
And I walked down that hall, into a classroom not of test-takers, but of children. Aisles of children who had once been in excited mothers wombs. I walked through the aisles, looking at their faces like they were foreigners. I monitored, but not an ounce of observation was spent on that test. I couldn’t help it. I was a mother now and they were children. 
Significant change.
Six years beyond those black letters, beyond a womb quickly shared by two others, and beyond some of the sweetest moments I’ve known, I am preparing to celebrate my boy’s birthday.  There will be joy watching his face as he rounds that corner to discover his new bike. 
A bike without training wheels. Ridden by a boy without front teeth, without a baby’s coo, without a little frog blanket to comfort him at night. A boy with a tender heart, a boy who can tie his shoes, read, and write notes to his former mother’s day out teacher. A boy who feels remorse and offers forgiveness, a boy who dreams of being a drummer or a train conductor. A boy who has done so much more than just grow up, 
a boy who has made me a mother.
My heart swells so that I can’t even swallow the tears.
Today we celebrate significant change. 
Happy Birthday, my Nolan.


  1. Oh, you're going to make me cry. Sweet Nollie... Happy Birthday big boy! You have brought so much love into this world.
    Aunt Chas

  2. This is your best post EVER. I hope your sweet boy had an amazing birthday!

  3. Hi Jen!

    What a precious post and a beautiful little man! Your photography is powerful...you are truly gifted! Hope your all doing well, maybe we can plan that trip to the cabin in the Spring :-) I have a blog and would love to link to your biz if thats ok with you.

    Big Smile,