Visiting Old Ironside with our two “babies” Christophino and Mialotta. Wish they did not grow up soooo damn fast!
* * *I lovingly dedicate this blog to all the little boys in the world (even if you’ve already grow up), may you never lose sight of the magic in your heart.
Christophino and his sisters pretending they are statues at a Newport mansion.
For the last 12 years I’ve been totally in love with him. His name? Christopher Stone Schmidt, but I like to call him ‘Christophino’, my special nickname for him. At the time, I was living in San Francisco, California but was in Boston for a business trip. A friend of mine invited me to a stranger’s birthday party in Dedham, Massachusetts at Joe’s American Bar & Grill. August 24, 2001 was the day that Christophino’s beautiful father Doug and I magically connected at a birthday party neither of us were supposed to be at.
Number 9 in Lacrosse
When Doug and I were on our first date he (as the 80’s song goes) “dropped a bomb on me”. He shared that he had been divorced for a year and that he had a son who lived with him every other week. A son?! Wow! Well, ok then. Although I adored kids and could not wait to have my own I had never thought about having this scenario. I had never dated anyone with kids so this was a new world. It’s one thing to love playing with other people’s kids, but it’s another to be an almost instant parent to someone else’s child. Things moved pretty quickly and a few days later I met the adorable little boy Christophino. Even at the ripe old age of just having turned the big six he had a magical presence about him. His energy filled the room with playful curiosity. In their Ashland condo, as his Doug introduced us, Christophino and I instantly clicked.
I was so smitten by these two, that within two months I had put my house in San Francisco, California up for sale and moved back to Massachusetts. It was one big giant play date for Christophino because we all loved being around him! We had very strong boundaries but Christophino rarely needed to be disciplined. He has always had such a love of life. When you are with him you are the only person in the world to him. Part of why he is as mature as he is because he understand the fragility of life. In his short life he has lost his baby sister, cousin Mandy (exactly two years ago today), grandmother June, great-uncle and great-grandmother Amanda (Oma Becker).
Feeding the homeless
Volunteer work continues
Volunteering in New Orleans with the youth group of our amazing UU Sherborn Church
We also have a lot of fond memories! I remember once in line at a grocery store we were play fighting in slow motion and the little boy in front of us was looking longingly at us. We did talent shows in front of the huge bathroom mirror after his baths. We crushed peanuts and threw them on the floor at that Florida restaurant that was famous for that. We drove to Long Island as much as possible to see family. My boys slamming into me with their go-carts, over and over and over again at Disney. We built snowmen. We raised chickens. Our traditions around the holidays. We adopted Shakespeare. We took our dogs London and Oscar for walks by the reservoir. We told bad knock-knock jokes…(Ok it was not us. It was Christophino ;). We built forts.
At Bumba Gumps in Northen California
The infamous teacups.
We went fishing. We walked him to school as a family every time he started a new school (even when it was embarrassing because it was always more loving than embarrassing). We did things around the house together. We sat by the fireplace watching movies and eating something really yummy that Doug made. We drove cross-country to visit family in New Mexico and Arizona playing license plate games the whole way. We went to three Superbowls for his Holliston High football team. We tricker-treated together as a family. We spent a summer at Martha’s Vineyard where we had the infamous air conditioner mishap. We all were there for prom photos. We did daylong trips to our favorite Newport Beach and then restaurants. Sooooo many wonderful memories!!!
Family trip to San Francisco. (this is one of THE coolest photos I’ve ever taken!) Check it out! Christopher jumped about 50 times to get the right shot. We had a blast!!!
There have been times, when I did not know where I fit in as a parent because of a number of factors neither of us could control. Through the years he and I have further deepened our bond even in the face of such unfairness.
Many people don’t know that Christophino was the one who the one who began the butterfly legacy. When our daughter Sophia was born, Doug and I were shocked and devastated to find that she had down syndrome. We were in dark, icky place mentally and emotionally. Our healing really first began with Christophino. To us Sophia looked like a bloated Asian football player but in the innocence of his beautiful heart, when he saw her he blurted out, “Oh she is so cute! Hey she looks like a butterfly!” A ‘butterfly”??? Doug and I looked at each other and smiled, our healing had begun. The name stuck and Sophia became the ‘butterfly’. That symbol has been instrumental in discovering my life’s purpose. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Over the years I have helped Christophino with homework. I even learned math better than I knew it when I was in school! (If you knew me with my math history you would be REALLY impressed right now 😉 I made a point to teach him some cool life lessons. I’ve gone to his soccer, baseball, football and lacrosse games, driven him to school and bought him clothes. I have cooked, played, planned, warned, washed, taught, traveled, joked, imagined, dreamed, kissed and hugged this beautiful little boy who grew up in front of my disbelieving eyes. The days are long but the years are short is what I have said before, but with Christopher the days were never long.
Family visit to the New England Aquarium
Even with an IEP, he still excelled in many areas. At 11 Christophino started his own (real) landscaping company, “Stone Works”. He even got business cards. I could not write this without including a mention for his passion for shoveling/plowing and snow. You have NEVER seen someone soooooo incredibly passionate about it. Even from a very early age he talked about snow like kids talk about Disney or candy! Christophino has been entrepreneurial his whole life and continues to this day. He does his work with a respect and precision that most 50 year olds don’t even possess. It’s a natural flow for him and he excels at it.
Lots of playing and having fun!
There were times where I simply let go so that Christophino could grow the way he wanted to and not the way I wanted him to. He is my only boy and I love him from the bottom of my heart, not like a stepson, but I love him simply as a son.
Football number is 35.
Sunday is my beautiful Christophino’s graduation. My heart breaks for not being there on his very special day, as we are 3,000 miles away. In hindsight I wish I had done this differently and that I were there. Sometimes we make choices that we think are a good idea when we make them. This is one of those times.
To you beautiful Christophino, I am soooooo proud of the young man you have become! You followed no one’s rulebook other than your own and all those years that I told you always have the choice of two roads, one closer to your heart and the other further. Over time you saw how this happens in life. You made choices on both sides of the road and learned from them. So at
Just after braces got taken off
17 years of age, with special needs that you have completely outgrown, with the love of both sets of your parents, with the adoration of your sisters, with the respect of your teammates, with the biggest hug I can muster…I wish you a very happy graduation and entrance into adulthood. I know you are going to have a very magical ride! We are always here for you! WE WUV YOU!!!!
Holiday traditions are sooo fun!
Knowing you has helped make me a better person. THANK YOU for coming into my life!
CALL TO ACTION…
If you like this blog for goodness sakes hit the LIKE button and SHARE IT! What are the boys in your life who have made a difference to your heart?
Good friend Brian and Christopher
Great big hugs,
Mariaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aka Mamaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
ELSE IS GOING ON? MORE WAYS TO FEED YOUR SOUL…
√ FACEBOOK: For daily soul-feeding at the Facebook ButterflyMoms group… https://www.facebook.com/groups/93661017326/
√ COACHING: NOW IS THE TIME!!!! STOP EFFORTING and START LIVING! For those who want a coach with a lot of heart, I’m here to help you get rid of your blocks and go towards your goal. I’m living what I have been teaching clients for nearly two decades. Whether you are curious or serious send me an email to email@example.com to set up a time to get you to your first step. For those who want something to shift in their lives this is a great time!!!
√ SPEAKING: I have spoken all over the world including the United States, Japan, Israel, Philippines, Canada and Portugal. When you ever hear of a conference or organization that needs a passionate speaker, please pass on my email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Isabella and Christopher
√ INTERVIEW: Here is the magnificent ButteflyMoms interview on Nancy L. Cantor‘s Dream Factory Television Show… I hope you watch it and that it feeds your soul! ! http://vimeo.com/30095902. If you know anyone who would like to do an interview I can be reached at email@example.com to set up a time.
√ BOOKS FOR SALE: “Mom Entrepreneur Extraordinaire” See list below for all the places in the world where this book has been sold! Last year I co-authored the book ENTREPRENEUR MOM EXTRAORDINAIRE. If you have been thinking about starting a business or want to take your business to the next level this is a wonderful way to start. WAY cheaper than going back to school…and very helpful! To feed the soul of a friend, buy them a copy by CLICKING HERE NOW… http://bit.ly/gRxe4U. Feel part of the magic below and see where in the world people have bought this book…
The beautiful blankie that Grandma Vickie made with her “Happy Hookers” group that she loves. He still LOVES it!
BOOKS SOLD INSIDE THE UNITED STATES
San Bruno 1
Fort Lauderdale 1
Two peas in a pod, Mialotta and Christophino at the zoo
Lake Forrest 1
Lindy and Christopher pose fo Senior Prom photos
New Bedford 1
North Easton 1
South Grafton 1
Lee’s Summit 1
Stony Brook 1
Waitsville (Mad River Valley) 2
In Porto, Portugal by the rooftop beach! NICE, REAL NICE!
BOOKS SOLD OUTSIDE UNITED STATES
Dublin, Ireland 1
Rome, Italy 3
Santa Maria (Azores/Açores) 1
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * **To buy your copy Click now… http://bit.ly/gRxe4U
At the Norman Rockwell Museum in Western Massachusetts
WHAT IS BUTTERFLYMOMS?
ButterflyMoms is a community of people who realize they are souls first and human being second. They want to explore more about themselves, to find out what makes them happy and how they can lead a life of purpose. It is simply about FEEDING YOUR SOUL. Although it has the name “MOMS” in the title it is more about being nurturing to your own transformation, as the butterfly is to its own metamorphosis. This community is led by Maria Salomão-Schmidt whose transformation was ignited by the birth and death of her BELOVED thirteen month old daughter Sophia (Sophalicious), the original butterfly.
At the Barking Crab in Boston.
*Every Friday Morning, as a way of honoring her daughter Sophia’s soul, Maria writes the weekly BUTTERFLYMOMS BLOG. Hundreds of people read it every week to feed their souls. Maria started writing the blog in May 2009 and has written EVERY Friday since. Maria is a Reiki master and every time you read it you are showered with healing love. Tell your friends… http://butterflymoms.wordpress.com and spread the love!!! FEED YOUR SOUL!!!!!
..has grown up into this beautiful young man!
Use your voice…
I invite you add your comments below about what your dream is and how you can do one thing to move it forward. This whole process is about connection and moving forward.
Looks like Mars but it’s Arizona with Grandapa Dude
On Sophia’s birthday, a week before she died.
At the Grand Canyon when we drove cross country.
Visiting Washington DC
Fall in New England
Running the Race for the amazing Respite Center in Hopkinton in Sophia’s memory
Meeting cousin Daniel in Long Island who is about to enter Jr. High!!!!
One of Christophino’s first football games ever with Vovo Raquel, Grandma Vickie and Grandpa Dude.
Eating at the Boston Harbor
At a Pawtucket baseball game with cousins Alex and Ben and Uncle Petey and Aunt Nisey!
Christophino and his cousin Ben! It’s a bro lovefest!!!
In Long Island with the Schmidt family