Fly Fly Butterflies…..

A few weeks ago we received an amazing gift from Cash’s Nana Teri, Teri is an amazing SMA Grandma to Cash Goeppert. It was our very own butterfly garden, such a nice surprise and thoughtful gift. In a small container were five caterpillars with tons of food to munch!!!. We always read “the very hungry caterpillar” to Sophia so it was so much fun to show her the caterpillars and have her watch them eat and get bigger and bigger, just like in her story. Everyday we watched them squirm around and eat and eat and eat……she loved this new ritual and I could tell she was so excited to see what they would do next!! Then one day they all climbed to the top of the container and gently hung upside down, we knew something amazing was starting. Every day their small fat bodies began to solidify and cocoon!!!! Once the cocoons were formed we gently transferred them to their new home in the netted cage and waited…..and waited… every day we showed Sophia the cocoons and told her something magical was going to happen, we just needed to be patient and wait, but it would happen….so we waited and waited and just when we thought maybe it wouldn’t happen …… it DID…..we woke up friday morning to an empty cocoon and a single butterfly flapping its wings…..we were so excited!! It happened …. and we couldn’t wait to show Sophia she loved to see the different colors in its wings and the way he slowly fluttered in his cage, as we watched this single butterfly test out his new wings I glanced down and saw another cocoon was about to hatch….I quickly pointed to Sophia and we watched and watched as the new “Life” began. It was amazing and such a beautiful moment to share with my daughter, as the butterfly emerged her wings were all crumpled and she wobbled and climbed the net. As she got higher in the cage her wings started to stretch out more and more as she felt stronger and more sure of herself in her new body!!!! Sophia was all wide eyed and loving every second. Soon after all our new butterflies were “born”……. we decided we would keep them for a few days and release them on Easter Sunday!!!! Easter turned out to be warm and beautiful and a perfect day for our release!!! We brought Sophia out on the deck and Vinny took each butterfly one by one and placed it in Sophia’s hand so she could release them (only fitting since she had been their momma :) ) It was amazing to watch how each of them “left” differently…. The first one hesitated a moment and flew up but her wings were not strong yet so she landed on the deck and sat, I felt so sad that she couldn’t fly too well and worried what would happen, but Vinny said “just give her some time” …….. and sure enough after a few minutes she stretched out and flew away!!!! The next butterfly he put into Sophia’s hand immediately flew away and I knew that one must be very strong…..the next one was a bit timid too and stayed on the deck till she felt ready, and the very last one must have been very attached to Sophia cause she flew on Sophia and actually kissed her face before leaving….. In a way after our “release” I couldn’t help but think about our SMA kids and what Vinny said about that first butterfly……. our kids are always being told they cant do this, they wont do this, they will never see this…..but if we just give them a little time, they WILL and they DO…..maybe not the way you and I do but in their way…..they just need a little more time than you and I,…….. So …..Thank you Teri for such a great gift!!!!

About Catherine Gaynor

Mom to beautiful Sophia.... SMA Type 1


  1. K Banjany says:

    Yay! Loved the pictures :) We released our butterflies today!

  2. Laurie McKeown says:

    What an amazing experience and such a great idea! It may be time for a butterfly and hummingbird garden! Thanks for sharing such a great story and pictures!

  3. Teri Taylor says:

    Oh my gosh………you, the Banjany’s and my daughter are all making me CRY this morning!!!!! What a beautiful thing for me to read on my birthday. I love you all so very much. Today I love SMA, because it brought me all of you.

  4. Michelle O'Dwyer says:

    What a wonderful story! I am so glad Sophia’s butterflies got to fly away. 😀

  5. Alison Brown says:

    Such a beautiful story, you do the most wonderful things with Sophia. What a beautiful Easter story. God Bless you and your family, you a truly very special and unique parents.

  6. Awesome!!!! says:

    Cool! :) :)

  7. Jen Peters says:

    What a wonderful way to put it, thank you for the sweet cry :)

  8. debra saccente says:


  9. michele says:

    that was a touching story and THANK YOU for the pictures~!
    Sophia loves to learn~!!!! she is so bright~!!!
    love and hugs~

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