Trading Birds For Butterflies
Our first clue that this might not be the best idea is the fact that Kate is a lepidopterist, or someone who studies/raises butterflies. Butterflies have a lot in common with birds---who have become synonymous with the women in the lives of the O’Toole men---not the least of which is their tendency to “fly away.”
Remember the thing that put Joe on the path to the Wilderness was his failed marriage to Oliver’s mother--- a “bird”---and the relational, spiritual and emotional damage it caused, that, unhealed, caused Joe to wander “off trail.” Taken in this context, it’s no wonder I was apprehensive.
Just after Shane’s departure, Joe asks questions of Oliver that cause him to evaluate if “as clear as [he] knows how to be” is really clear at all, and advises him to “take [his] time” when Oliver gets the chance to kiss Shane again. As Oliver goes longer and longer without Shane, Joe tries to make sure that Oliver “gets out” for poker night and isn’t alone. At one point he even mentions the possibility that “Mr. National Security” might not have any intention to “release” Shane. It’s a suggestion that later helps to support Oliver’s decision to go to D.C. after Shane, or at the very least contribute to the “bluff” that causes Shane to question her circumstances, which eventually brings her home.
When we enter a new season, God often likes to present us once more with the challenges that hindered us in our previous season to see if we’ve learned from them. A little month after his Wilderness encounter, Joe’s eagerness to live life to its fullest found him navigating familiar challenges in that pursuit, but overcoming them in ways that exercise his new wisdom and set a positive, healthy, valuable example for Oliver at the same time. He might still have something to learn when it comes to pursuing a “forever fit,” but the resiliency he exhibited leaves us hopeful Joe is headed in the right direction moving forward.
Cheering Him On,
P.S. Have you heard the awesome news?! Lost Without You is nominated for four Leo Awards! Learn More