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It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.
I came across this quote today and literally laughed out loud. As fellow parents, I am sure you’ll agree that many of us live in different worlds at the same time. How many people out there have ever tried to remain professional on a conference call while feeding a baby, finding a puzzle piece, shushing the kids, and letting the dog out at the same time? Me!!
This afternoon, I was feeling blessed realizing the potential rewards of stepping out of my comfort zone, while persuading my daughter to step out of hers, all at the same time. Our dream for 1-2-3 Just Play With Me is one step closer to a reality today as it was (with help) uploaded to a printer (finally!). This business move, for us “therapy people” was a step out of our comfort zone and a process that taught us much about many new and seemingly foreign topics…. printers, copy writing, graphic design, marketing, retail, web sites, web sales and on and on. These new facts and freshly learned skills left us challenged, frustrated, energized, and emotional at times over the 2 year process from imagining, to writing, to sending our little “dream project” off to print today. As I was following the email instructions of coordinating final edits, and teaming up our fabulous graphic designer (thank you, thank you Denise Boehm at anything creative) with our new printing company to prepare for our upload, I reflected on what a process it has been for our little team and I was filled with excitement with where this journey may lead us when our first order arrives to us late this summer. We can’t wait to share it with all of you! But I couldn’t reflect for long… because, my almost 7 year old was having a tough time stretching out of her own comfort zone for the moment.
Forget the business work, Mom. There was a dangling front tooth and a tearful girl with big sad green eyes needing to share her fears with me. Upload on hold. Lap top away. Assess the tooth. It was ready to go! And trust me, I was ready for it to go. This tooth came in during her first year with an enamel defect. A light brown spot. Panicked, I asked our dentist, how? why? I had given no juice! No bottles in bed! I brushed early teeth and gums! Apparently this is common when a mother has had a high fever during pregnancy. Given the nature of my job (hugging snotty toddlers while working with them all winter) this happened a few times. So, he slapped something on top of it to lighten it and he said we’d wait till it fell out when she was 6 or so. Here we sat today. Her tears. My memory of the tooth. I have to admit, I felt ready to see it go. Her complaint, “I’m scared Mommy. This tooth makes me unique. It has a dot. I’m sure my new tooth won’t have a dot, then what will I do.” Sighhh. Two minutes before I was ready to lose it, hold her down and remove the tooth – enough already! Step out of the comfort zone! It’ll be OK! After my explanation that she had many other qualities that make her unique, I decided to let her step out of that zone when she’s really ready. Or the tooth simply falls out. Whichever comes first.
She taught me something. They both always do. We do learn so many new things when we step out of our comfort zones. Some of my most important lessons have been learned when doing so. Sometimes we even need a nudge, but often a push won’t work. We have to be ready. We wouldn’t have been in a place 5 years ago to reflect clearly enough to write and prepare our card set. We weren’t ready for that step yet. We were still treading water, trying to keep our heads above the water. But now we are beaming with excitement. Interaction with our own infants and toddlers and facilitating that interaction with our patients and their families excites us. Understanding why our babies do what they do, helps us know and enjoy them better. We hope that late this summer, when 1-2-3 Just Play With Me has arrived, you’ll join our excitement by enjoying some shared information about your own infant or toddler or have a special someone in your life to share that gift with. We’ll keep you posted!