When we were thinking about creating a logo for the group we decided we wanted it to be a little different and a lot meaningful. This group, and what we hope it will be, is something that means lot to us and we wanted the logo to have that same personal connection for us.
So, why a butterfly? One reason is that our son’s favorite book is “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” His exuberance when he exclaims “Beautiful butterfly!” at the end of the book every time he reads it is so very illustrative of how he lives his life. If he loves something, he loves it right down to his toes and he shares that love with everyone around him. That alone was enough for me.
My husband, though, wasn’t entirely convinced. I think he had rather hoped that whatever logo we designed could become his next tattoo. There is no way he will ever get a butterfly tattoo! Faced with his reluctance, I did what I always do in these situations. I researched it.
It doesn’t take much research to turn up the fact that butterflies are considered, in many cultures, to be symbols of change and transformation. In some cultures they’re even symbolic of the ultimate change, death. How cheerful, I know.
I think there is something incredibly apropos in using such a symbolic creature in the logo for this group. Which of us did not have our lives completely and irrevocably changed by the Fragile X diagnosis? Which of us did not feel the death of some of our dreams in the days, months and years after the diagnosis? Which of us did not have our very reality change beyond what we could have ever imagined?
The symbolism was enough to convince me and, I think, probably my husband too but I was now fascinated with this idea and kept digging. These are remarkable creatures. Think about the tiny caterpillar and the fact that each one carries inside it, in its DNA, a gorgeous and inspiring butterfly! Not every caterpillar turns into a butterfly, however. Caterpillars, like our children, need the right nutrition and environment to transform into what they were truly meant to be.
There are some who say that a caterpillar and a butterfly are amazing because they are the only creatures who’s entire DNA changes but that’s not true. The caterpillar and the butterfly share the same DNA. The butterfly is inside the caterpillar all along; it just needs the right circumstances to grow its wings.
I’m almost done. Another aspect of the butterfly that I find so amazing is what happens inside the cocoon. The caterpillar’s body isn’t simply transformed. The caterpillar’s body is consumed and striped down to its most basic state and then it regrows.
That last bit is what Fragile X has done to and for our family. In the 4 and a half years since we received the news that transformed our lives, we have been in the process of being stripped down by circumstances beyond our control. We, as a family, have had to rebuild ourselves starting from our most basic state and this group is the result of our family finally finding its purpose and growing its wings.