my sports fantasy: moving from ‘new age’ to totally normal

when sports teams have success with visualization, yoga and other mindfulness techniques, the media marvels at the potential impact of 'new age' thinking. People! It's not new age...it's really old, and it's super duper effective.

I cringed when I read this headline in yesterday’s Star Tribune: New Age thinking helped turn this North High team around. I knew right away what the article would say: that yet another sports team had experienced great success after supplementing their practices with a little inner reflection…also known in the media as ‘new age thinking.’

Don’t get me wrong: I’m thrilled every time a team publicly reveals the impact of creative visualization in the locker room. What gets under my skin is the way these ancient and proven techniques are often billed by the media as ‘new age’ – a term originally coined in the 1960s to describe a new approach to spirituality, merging Eastern and Western philosophies and traditions. Over the years, the term ‘new age’ expanded to include everything from A to Z (astronomy to Zen) – and, in the eyes of many mainstreamers, a whole lot of crazy. I know many people for whom the term ‘new age’ carries a stigma; more hippie-dippy and out-of-touch than holistic and centered.

The article I saw yesterday profiled North High, an inner city basketball team that took last place in their conference last year. Coaches hired meditation teacher Jane Barrash to lead visualization sessions with the players, and this year, the team went from worst to first. In part, the coaches say, because Barrash worked closely with the kids to help them release fears, breathe deep, visualize success and realize their potential to co-create their reality. Yes, of course! Young people are still developing their perspectives on the world and themselves; to show them how to imagine themselves at their best and believe they’re capable of it? So powerful.

Every success story like this makes my heart leap and gives me hope that all youth athletic teams (and academic, too – why not!?) will one day incorporate these mindfulness and self-realization techniques into their programs. Countless pro athletes have employed the power of mental imagery, from Muhammed Ali to the 2014 Super Bowl-winning Seattle Seahawks (whom ESPN profiled last year for their “unusual techniques” off the field). It baffles me why major media seems startled every time another sports figure or team reveals this is part of their routine.

Reporters, producers, athletes and coaches: we need your help to move this from ‘new age’ to totally normal, from alternative to mainstream. 

I have a kid who, like many, idolizes great athletes. He wants the foods they eat, the shoes they wear, the equipment they use, the shampoos they endorse. And he’s cool with visualizing success before a big game only because his dad and I have made sure he knows many of his favorite athletes do that, too. But we could use some back-up; more media examples of coaches talking about meditation as a must-have for teams, more players loudly and proudly endorsing the practice, more youth coaches incorporating guided imagery into their skills training.

The North High basketball players have already seen how mindfulness boosts their chances of winning on the court – and maybe even in life. Imagine if all of our kids knew how to breathe through stress, to believe in their power to succeed, to listen to their bodies, to feel connected to something amazing within them and bigger than them. This is my sports fantasy, but I’m visualizing it becoming a reality. Join me?

Aw, that's my hubby...coaching his team to be their best. :)

SCORE! 5 AWESOME RESOURCES for FAMILIES

Here are several great sites to turn to for help encouraging your kids (and maybe yourself) to embrace the power of visualization.

Imagery for Kids: Dr. Charlotte Reznick offers great guidance for parents and recorded meditations for kids.

Parenting with Presence Summit (March 18 – 21):  This free upcoming summit features online interviews with thought leaders including Jane Goodall, Marianne Williamson and Arianna Huffington. (I’m an affiliate)

Left Brain Buddha: My childhood friend Sarah Rudell Beach grew up to become a teacher and an expert blogger on motherhood & mindfulness. You’ll love her posts, full of humor, great research and cool ideas.

The Ultimate Sports Parent: This site offers helpful posts about sports psychology & kids, like this one on visualization as well as audio programs that focus on stumbling blocks like anxiety and lack of confidence.

Athletes Who Meditate: Walk your kid through this slide show of current sports stars who meditate and visualize success. I especially love this quick video of basketball superstar LeBron James meditating during a time-out. 🙂

 

spread the word to end the word: a mama bear post

Ohmygosh, Tru looks so little here! I wrote this post two years ago, but I’m sharing it here in honor of Spread the Word to End the Word Day. The campaign aims to end the use of the word retarded. And while we’re at it, can we just altogether stop poking fun at those with special needs? Here’s what prompted me to share from the heart…

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Last week, I attended a meeting with a roomful of parents, all whom have kids with special needs. I didn’t want to be there. Nobody wants to be in that conference room. We’re insanely grateful for the resources and support, but we wish we didn’t need it.

Nobody ever starts a family thinking this will be part of the journey. This happens toother families, we tell ourselves. And because of that naiveté, I wasn’t always as compassionate as I should have been towards families walking this crooked path. I’m so embarrassed to admit that there was a time when I’d laugh at friends who used self-deprecating humor like “I’m such a retard!” or “what are you, slow!?” I might have even uttered that stuff myself. I didn’t think about how those wise {or not so wise} cracks furthered the prejudices against special needs kids and adults who cannot help the way they were born.

I don’t write a lot here about Truman’s specific needs; I think this was the last time. He is so much more than the labels put on him. I want him to be known for his contagious joy, for his growing brilliance, for his love of people and music and   trees and lights and puppies and babies and books and snuggles. I want you and everyone he meets to know all of this about him. Why? Because people make fun of what and who theydon’t know. But they think twice about doing so when they have a relationship with or affection for someone who’s the butt of a joke.

I believe connection breeds compassion.

If your beloved friends and colleagues come from different ethnic or spiritual backgrounds, you’re less likely to utter a racial or religious slur. If one of your favorite neighbors is lesbian, you’re less likely to criticize something by calling it “gay.” But it’s less likely you have regular interactions with someone who has special needs, which makes these innocents much easier to mock.

Last week, someone I know {though not well} posted a Facebook photo of himself with a befuddled, dorky look on his face, standing next to a sign that says “Special Needs Entrance.” When I skimmed the comment section below his picture, each “like” and “LOL” from his Facebook friends felt like daggers to the heart. It angers me to think that, years ago, I might have laughed at that kind of humor. And it saddens me to know that brand of ignorance continues.

Some of you might think I need to just relax or lighten up. But that’s not the nature of a mama bear like me. We moms {and dads, too} try to protect our cubs to no end – from cruelty, from prejudice, from harm. I pray Tru will never feel ostracized or ridiculed for being a little different. He is pure sunshine – and I’ll do my best to keep anyone or any joke from dimming his light, directly or indirectly.

By virtue of reading this, you are connected to me – and I’m so glad. My hope is that the next time you feel compelled to make fun of a disability or laugh at an insensitive joke, you’ll think of me…and then you’ll think of Tru…and maybe you’ll change your mind. And, in that act of kindness, you’ll change others’ minds, too.

8 Great Picture Books That Teach Kids They Matter…No Matter What

8 Great Picture Books That Teach Kids They Matter #childrensbooks #mindbodyspirit

weekend swoon creative awesomeness

I’m so excited to share these children’s books with you – all chosen because of the ways they teach our kids they matter…no matter what. I know lots of you are parents and grandparents doing your best to raise happy-hearted kids who will become happy-hearted adults. These titles will totally help!

Between having a mom who’s a children’s literature expert, being a mama to two spirited kids and my years of working in family communications & advocacy, I’ve seen lots (and lots) of children’s books that aim to pump up kids’ self-esteem. But frankly, many fall flat. It was super hard to choose, but I’ve collected eight children’s books that do a wonderful job of making little ones feel deeply loved and empowered to make their mark on the world. Hope you swoon over them as much as I have. Happy reading!

Because of You children's book - empowering and life-affirmingBecause of You by B.G. Hennessy, illustrated by Hiroe Nakata

This sweet and simple book details many reasons the world is a better place because of you – one more person to share with, one more person to love others, one more person to make peace. I love the first line of the book: “Each time a child is born, the world changes.”

Incredible You by Dr. Wayne Dyer - great children's bookIncredible You! by Dr. Wayne Dyer & Kristina Tracy, illustrated by Melanie Siegel

We have all of Wayne Dyer’s uplifting children’s books, but I like this one best. The sing-song rhyming offers 10 simple ways to shine – from taking care of yourself to changing your thoughts, with an example of each that kids can relate to.

 

I Like Me - self-esteem boosting book by Nancy CarlsonI Like Me!, written and illustrated by  Nancy Carlson

This is a classic and both of my kids have loved it. The main character is a darling pig who finds goodness in all of her talents and her ability to overcome mistakes, realizing in the end that she is her own best friend.

I'd Know You Anywhere My Love by Nancy TillmanI’d Know You Anywhere My Love by Nancy Tillman

This brand new book is already a New York Times bestseller, thanks to its lovely illustrations and beautiful premise – informing a child that their personality and spirit would shine through even if he or she were to turn into a wild animal: “There are things about you quite unlike any other. Things always known by your father or mother. So if you decide to be different one day, no worries… I’d know you anyway.” 

Children's Book - Sprinkle Your Sparkles by Kirsten Tulsian

Sprinkle Your Sparkles by Kirsten Tulsian, illustrated by Mary Gregg Byrne

I’m especially delighted to share this book – a big dream come true for a childhood friend of mine. Kirsten is an elementary school teacher and spirited mama who wanted to make love and kindness tangible for kids, so she encourages readers to imagine they’re spreading sparkles every time they open their heart to someone else. Love it! P.S. I had the honor of writing an endorsement for the back of the book.

Children's book - No One Buy You by Douglas Wood; part of list featuring 8 Great Books To Teach Kids They Matter

No One But You by Douglas Wood, illustrated by PJ Lynch

This book is such a beauty, with gorgeous illustrations of kids taking in their surroundings and the message that no one but you can see the world through your eyes or do things the way you can. I adore Wood’s other books, like Old Turtle and Grandad’s Prayers for the Earth, and this one is just as enchanting.

children's book - Mama Do You Love MeMama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse, illustrated by Barbara Lavallee

I bet I have read this book 300 times between my two boys. First published in 1998, it’s sold over a million copies and comes in board book form and paperback (we have a hardcover version, but they’re harder to find these days). The story follows a little girl who lives in the Arctic, asking her mama if she’d still love her even if she did all kinds of frightful things – from putting fish in her mukluks (boots) to running away with the wolves. The mama tells her how she’d feel (surprised, sad, worried) but that she’ll always love her little one no matter what.

If I Could Keep You Little by Marianne Richmond - part of children's book roundup teaching kids they matter...no matter what

If I Could Keep You Little by Marianne Richmond

Okay, this one is a bit of a cheat. Though kids will love it too, I think this sweet book by my friend Marianne Richmond is really a great gift for parents, reminding us of all the wonderful milestones and meaningful moments we get to witness as our little ones grow up. The first time I saw it, I nearly fell apart right there in the store! I can totally relate to not wanting my kiddos to get bigger…but loved thinking about all of the ways our love will grow as they do.

I know, I know – I forgot a book you adore, right? So share in the comments any titles you think are great for teaching our kids they matter…no matter what.

this morning’s big score: my kid just learned the power of positive thought

does the power of positive thought work?check out this sweet story about a ball, a boy and a tree.

Friends, you’ll get such a kick out of what happened here this morning!

My 10 year old, Ryder, and his neighborhood friends have loved spending time after school in the autumn sunshine, kicking and catching a football in the street. He can literally spend hours doing this (it boggles my mind!) – but they were using a busted-up football, with the stuffing coming out. So yesterday, I drove him to a sporting goods store to pick out a new football and a kickstand.

He was thrilled and played football all evening – until one of his punts veered right and catapulted that football right into an evergreen tree in our front yard. We looked and looked (and even tried to shake the tree with a rake), but we couldn’t see the football. As night fell, I told him we’d try again today.

This morning, it was all he could think about. While I made breakfast, he ran outside to look for it. No luck. He begged me to go out in my pajamas, climb a ladder with a rake, and do my best to find it. Ha! Can you imagine what a spectacle that would have been for the neighborhood?? I told him we’d try to come up with some ideas after school, which he was NOT happy about.

There was pouting. And moping. And as he put his backpack on, he grunted, “I’m never gonna find it in my whole life!”

“If you think that way, you’re probably right,” I told him. “Remember, your thoughts are powerful. Let’s trust something will work out – even if we don’t know how.”

He rolled his eyes (he’s heard this speech eight million times), gave me a half-hug and headed out the door. Not 20 seconds later, he burst right back through it, shouting with joy.

“I got it! I got it! A bird just flew into the tree and knocked it right out!”

Ha!! As he hurriedly and happily stuffed it into his backpack for recess, I pointed out what had just happened. That bird didn’t come hours later or while Ryder was inside talking to me, but at the precise moment he was walking by that tree, seconds after shifting our outlook (even if he did do it begrudgingly). It was like a little God wink – an awesome and perfectly-timed reminder to my boy that magic can happen when we trust. Sometimes, it spurs our own inspired action. And sometimes, it triggers inspired action by forces unseen and the Universe sends birds and balls and joy flying.

Another touchdown for the power of positive thought. 🙂

we thought today would be different

This isn't how today was supposed to go: post about #autism #kindergarten and rearranged dreams

This isn’t how today was supposed to go.

first day of fifth grade!My big boy, Ryder, strutted off to fifth grade as planned (how did he get to be a fifth grader!?), but we’d long imagined that on this day, he’d have his little brother tagging along. Not long after Truman was born, nearly five and a half years ago, Ryder excitedly figured out they’d get to have one year together in the same school, with Tru in kindergarten and him in fifth grade. He couldn’t wait to show him the ropes and be his protector. He talked about it often – until last winter, when it became clear Tru wouldn’t be ready for kindergarten this fall. His particular blend of challenges from developmental delays and ASD would make it really difficult to focus and flourish right now. Ryder was bummed, which is so sweet.

While my heart fluttered with pride this morning as Ryder boarded the bus to start his last year of elementary school, it also ached for the little guy at our side. I wish I could just wave my magic mama wand – the one that can fix practically anything, from hurt feelings to scraped knees. It’s hard to not have the power to fix this.

That said, I know this bonus year is also a huge gift. I would have been a complete mess sending Tru off to school and now I get one more year with my little shadow. More snuggles, more giggles, more adventures, more alone time. We and his team of specialists have an extra year to work with him and plan ahead for his kindergarten debut. And he gets one more year to learn and play at a preschool he loves.

tru drawing in the dudioAs I was typing this, Tru just crawled into my lap, put his head on my chest and closed his eyes. I kissed his little head, breathed in his little boy smell, and closed my eyes, too – soaking up the moment and feeling grateful he’s still right here by my side…in my arms…under my wing for one more year.

Come to think of it, maybe this is exactly the way today was supposed to go.

The Not-So-Picture-Perfect Truth of Our Family Vacation

Family Vacation - Making Memories

We’re back from a wet & wild family vacation – emphasis on wild. We took a bunch of super-smiley photos (“Look at the camera. Right here! Up here! Now smile! No, a real smile!”). We really did love the pools, the water slides, the resort, the weather, the together time…but I have a feeling the memories that will last longest – the ones we’ll be talking about even when the kids are grown – are the ones that didn’t get photographed.

Because nobody thinks to grab a camera in the middle of total freaking chaos. 

Like when the five-year-old has the biggest diaper blow-out ever known to humankind. (Side note: did you know there are actually experts on autism and pooping? Yep. I’ve read their stuff, attended workshops, tried different strategies but we’re still changing diapers. Sigh.). When we walked into the beautiful, relaxing resort condo, I nearly peed my pants with delight. Tru, on the other hand, pooped his – and then announced it was “coming out.” My superhero hubby offered to change him – on the gorgeous bed with a towel beneath him. And thank God for that innocent, fluffy white bath towel; it did not survive the explosion, nor did Tru’s pants. In fact, I’m surprised Brad did. But there are (thankfully) no photos of the Day One poop storm.

We also don’t have a photo of the balcony screen door that Ryder’s entire 10-year-old body catapulted through when he tripped on the door threshold. How, people? How do these things happen!? We had already told Tru a dozen times not to touch/poke/lean on/punch the screen – and then his big brother managed to fly through it with such velocity that he ripped the entire screen, top to bottom, right off the door. The kid was fine, save for some parental shouting in the heat of panic. I practically crawled down to the front desk, told them we were guests of the condo owner and were so, so sorry but we’d just busted the balcony screen. Miraculously, they acted like ours was not the first 10-year-old to go screen diving and they replaced the door (yes, the whole damn door) without charging us a penny.

I also failed to capture charming photos of Tru’s flesh wound from a waterpark ladder…or the fatigue caused by sharing a bed with a kid who kicks in his sleep…or the late night smoothie explosion in our three-month-old minivan (at least it smells like strawberry now). But all those things were the very things we laughed so hard about on the long drive home, tears streaming down our faces as we recounted all the mini disasters we survived together.

And despite all the speed bumps, we’d do it all over again. I mean, not that we could…since none of us actually owns a bathing suit anymore. Uh-huh, that’s right. We all managed to leave our suits behind at the resort. It’s too bad because after all that, I could really use a vacation.

Beauty in the Chaos: Free Printable for Every Mama

Beauty in the Chaos - Free Printable for Mamas

If this resonates with you, I’d love for you to have it.

I created this as a free gift for participants of a parenting telesummit I was going to be interviewed for today. But as I read the fine print of the contract last night, I saw that the organizer only wanted to feature experts with a certain number of newsletter subscribers. Mine was 3,000 people short of the minimum requirement, so I’m out. Welcome to the fun side of online marketing!

We were going to be talking about finding beauty in the chaos of parenthood. The messes, the stresses, the way most days feel like a circus. And then, something happens – a sloppy kiss from your littlest, an act of kindness from your oldest, a moment of quiet or laughter or heart-melting – and there it is: beauty in the chaos.

So, that’s what I was thinking about when I wrote this. Since I can’t share it with the original intended audience, I figured maybe it’s really meant for you.

To download a hi-res version of this 5×5 printable click here: Beauty in the Chaos: Free Printable for Every Mama. I hope that for somebody out there, it’s just what you need today.

angels in the outfield, giving kids wings

caring adults - building assets for kids

Tru's cheering section laughing

These pictures put such a lump in my throat, seeing all the love & laughter for and from my little guy – with grownups who don’t have to be but want to be part of his life. So much joy. My dad, a pioneer in the field of positive youth development, believed (and spearheaded research to prove) that caring adults – in addition to immediate family – are one of the developmental assets kids need to succeed. “If you’re breathing, you’re on the team,” he often said.

On Sunday, Tru had a whole cheering section at his baseball game. He’s part of a wonderful Miracle League for kids with cognitive or physical challenges. It takes an hour to play two innings and there’s no actual competition. But he thinks hitting the ball off the tee and running the bases is the greatest thing ever. When he crosses home plate and recognizes people he knows and loves in the stands – whom he knows love him – he just lights up. What kid wouldn’t?

Despite cold and rainy weather, he was cheered on by his godparents Michelle and Bill, his beloved “Neen” (Jordan, who was his nanny for his first 3+ years and is still a frequent presence in his life) and her darling beau, Stu. They stood in the rain, whooped it up for him and his teammates, and gave him big hugs whenever he left the field (a common occurrence!) to visit his peeps.

Both Tru and his big brother have had special cheerleaders at almost all of their baseball games this summer. But these caring adults show up for them in other wonderful ways, too and we’re so grateful. When kids grow up feeling safe and supported not just within the walls of their homes but out in the world, it has a lasting impact and boosts their chances of becoming happy and healthy adults down the road. The more caring adults a kid has to count on, the stronger his wings.

So, this is my long way of saying THANK YOU to the earth angels in my kids’ lives – and to all of you who make a point of building relationships with other people’s kiddos. In case you don’t hear it often enough, know that what you do matters. People like you are changing the world, one well-loved kid at a time.

How to find caring adults for your kids

kids with uncle kai

think they like their uncle kai a little bit?

When Brad and I decided to start a family, we envisioned our children having other adults they could trust and feel supported by. So we’ve been pretty intentional about making this a priority. Here are a few ways how:

  • We literally talked to some friends – particularly those with no kids or grown kids – about this desire, asking them to be active cheerleaders for our kiddos if it felt right. Most folks felt honored and welcomed the invitation to play an active role in their lives.
  • When we moved into our current home eight years ago, the selling point was hearing this neighborhood had a Halloween parade and other family-friendly activities – a sign that we’d be moving into a community that cared about kids. It has been a great place for them to grow up, feeling safe and supported. And we try to play our part in that, too. There are often neighbor kids playing in our yard, climbing our trees, grabbing a snack in our kitchen.
  • We try to let those angels in our kids’ lives know how much we and our boys value them. If either kid says something kind or asks about one of their favorite grown-ups, I send that person a text – and it often makes their day.

Got other tips? Got caring adults you want to celebrate – or kids who have stolen your heart? Leave a comment – I’d love to hear your experiences!

 art of choosing beauty : click for details

graduation: let’s not forget the parents

Graduation card for parents, via www.shoplivlane.com

(new in the shop: graduation card for parents)

It’s happening again. We’re starting to receive invitations to graduation parties: unofficially required ‘open houses’ with balloons and brownies and photo collages to celebrate neighbor kids, friends’ kids, co-workers’ kids who are graduating from high school. We’ll make an appearance at each, drop off a gift (ahem, check), ask the kids about their plans, watch videos and look at photos of them as babies and preschoolers and Girl Scouts and Little League players.

And I can’t help but think as I stand there that these celebrations should not only focus on the graduating kid, but on the parents who just spent 18 years nurturing, teaching, guiding, advocating, chaperoning, coaching, cheering, carpooling…adoring this child. I want to honor that they’ve done an awesome job. All the things they’ve gone through – sleepless nights, skinned knees, bruised egos, health scares, hellish hormones, bullies and broken hearts – and still stuck around because their love was bigger than all of those things combined. That deserves a celebration.

This year, I finally have a card I can slip to the parents at those open houses – and I’m hoping it might come in handy for you, too.

happy graduation! it's your day, too. (card for parents)

Just one little thing. The first run from my printer came with the inside message printed above the fold vs. below it. Rats! If you can stand a little imperfection and just write a sweet little note below, I’ll give you a discount! This first run is priced at 25% off my other card prices – so just $3 per card, found here.

Got other occasions you wish there was a good card for? I’d love to know!  xoxo

 

honoring the hard parts

ready for school? inside one family's journey. #specialneeds

Over the past several weeks, I have written this post a million times in my head. But I’ve avoided writing it…not sure how to say it, embarrassed by my hesitancy, wrestling with how it might come across.

My baby turned five last week. FIVE. Yesterday, I asked Truman how he got so tall and he just lifted up his hand and showed me all five fingers, flashing his giant grin. He knows he’s five and he’s pretty darn proud.

He does not know, however, that he’s a little different from a lot of other five year olds. He doesn’t realize yet that other five year olds will go to kindergarten in the fall; he doesn’t even know what that is yet.

Two and half years ago, we had Tru assessed for speech issues; he was a giggly snuggle-bug but was hardly saying any words. We had speech therapists come to our home…and they sent more therapists…and after a few months, we had a meeting to get the results of their evaluations. I can still feel myself standing in the parking lot with Brad after that meeting, feeling stunned by the news about our boy. It wasn’t just his speech. It was cognitive. It was social-emotional. It was sensory. It was motor skills. It was probably autism. And there was no instruction booklet for any of it.

It felt like jumping hurdles at first – leaping over barriers like superheroes, trying to beat the clock with early intervention and nourish his little brain as much as possible. Deep down, I hoped it would be enough to just make all the D words go away: delays, deficiency, disorder. Maybe we could cure him. Maybe we could make him the poster boy for early intervention. Irrational, maybe. But that’s how I get through the muck: I focus on the positive, I remind myself that anything is possible. And you know what? That boy has made such great progress, he really has. Every little milestone feels like a victory, so I share them with loved ones, and sometimes on Facebook, or maybe on the blog. Celebrating my sweet boy feels good.

But lately, I’m allowing myself to feel something else, too. 

Last week, we went to a birthday party for a friend. Tru delighted in helping blow out the candles, but refused to eat the cake (or the dinner beforehand, for that matter). We had to explain, as we often do, that he only eats a handful of foods – and that we packed some just in case. “That’s got to be hard,” one guest said. And instead of brushing it under the rug and slapping a smiley face on the situation, I nodded and inhaled the words.

Yes, I thought. This is hard.

Not knowing what sensory trigger might rock his world – from food to sound to a scratchy shirt – is hard. Changing a five year old’s diaper is hard. Reading all the things he has yet to accomplish is hard. Not knowing what the future holds for our precious boy is really hard. Parenting a child with special needs is no walk in the park – so maybe I should stop pretending it is.

When I admit this to myself and allow you to see it, too – that it’s not all happy times here – my eyes start to burn with hot tears. I have spent so long hiding the hard parts that they’re all backed up, waiting just beneath the surface, demanding equal time. I want you to think I’m a good mom. I want him to think I’m a good mom. I don’t want to be a downer…or a whiner…or a victim.

And maybe leaning into the grief will be okay…even do me some good. Maybe nurturing myself through the struggles will make me stronger, not weaker. Maybe I can celebrate the good parts and acknowledge the rough spots – and still be the mama Tru needs. Fingers crossed, heart thumping. This is hard.

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This post is part of a Brave Blogging Link-Up I’m hosting for participants in the current run of my How To Build a Blog You Truly Love ecourse. They’re stepping outside their comfort zones today, sharing courageous posts. Please click on any below to visit them and celebrate their bravery…