Some of you have noticed the layout and a few have asked "what's with all the dragonflies?"

Dragonflies have been a personal symbol for me for a long time.  Call it a spirit animal, call it a messenger... whenever there is a big question or I find myself at the cusp of a big life event, you can bet there is a dragonfly attached to it.

I have spent many hours chasing dragonflies with my camera.  They are fascinating, they are fun.  They eat mosquitoes, so what is not to love?  We never really had them growing up, being miles away from anything but a creek, but I have seen thousands over a lake, all dive bombing and threatening to crash into each other, but they never do.  It is fantastic to watch.

I have been at the crossroads of a decision and had a dragonfly land nearby and had my path "cleared".  What seemed monumental a moment before was now childishly easy.  I wish I could call this coincidence, but it has happened too many times.

The summer before the twins were born,  I was in the back yard feeling a little sad as we had been unable to conceive.  As I watched my son play in the grass, two dragonflies landed near me on a pot of calla lilies (which had not bloomed yet).  They were red, they buzzed around each other a bit and then flew away.  By the time that pot of callas had finished blooming, I knew that I was pregnant with twins.

Like any Mom to be, I started window shopping for the nursery.  I had to buy two of whatever I chose and I tried to find a neutral pattern.  One jumped out at me and we had to hunt it down.  It is Fisher Price's "Zen" pattern which features, you guessed it, dragonflies.  I painted them on the dresser that I refinished for the babies as well as hanging up two prints of dragonflies that I had taken over the years.

When we found out about Wyatt's heart and the chances that he had DS, we were beside ourselves.  One of my girlfriends commissioned her brother in law (who is an artist) to draw three different dragonflies as a special baby gift for us. They are coloured pencil on paper, framed and they are beautiful; each one has the name of one of my children at the bottom.  I love them so much, in fact, that instead of hanging them in the nursery as originally planned, I hung them in the livingroom for everyone to see.  They are quite the conversation piece and are complemented often. 

Traditionally, dragonflies symbolize change. self-realization and personal growth.  Dragonflies themselves have spectacular vision (80% of their brain is dedicated to perception).  To the Chinese they represent luck, to the Japanese samurai they are power, speed and victory.  They "stitch up" the eyes, mouths and ears of people who act hateful and lie in Sweden and eat from the wind and bring happiness in Native American lore.  Their lives are very short:  they spend up to four years underwater as nymphs, only to emerge as adult dragonflies and live roughly two months.  But what a two months!

For all of these reasons I have included them here.  For luck, for growth, for realization, for awakening, for strength.  I also think that their brief lives are a perfect metaphor for Down syndrome; to me it mirrors the struggle to achieve independence, to attain acceptance, to develop certain strengths to overcome other perceived weaknesses.  Despite his heart, despite his extra chromosome, I want my wee nymph to grow and add his unique perspective to the world.

And fly.
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