A finger to hold

By Carrie Wilkerson
Our team has been busy, busy as usual—but one of us has been especially busy. LauraLee, our 11-month old, has been really focusing on her walking! She will be 1 in a few weeks and she decided about 6 weeks ago that walking looked like something she wanted to figure out.

She’s wobbly. She falls a lot. She sometimes needs a hand to hold, sometimes just a pinkie or finger for confidence. She prefers to walk towards someone who is reaching out their arms for her. She’s bumped and scraped from obstacles. When she hits her head (or any other body part) it doesn’t seem to hurt as much as normal because she’s so focused on her destination. But, most importantly, she keeps getting up and trying again.

Things I’ve noticed about those of us around her. We clap when she takes steps (even if it’s just one or two). We reach out to help her up when she topples. We praise her and cheer for her (yes, even if she falls flat). We hold our arms out for her so she knows where she can fall safely. We tell everyone about her successes. We dwell on the steps, not the tumbles. And most importantly, we encourage her to get up and try again.

Not ONCE have I heard anyone say,

  • “Well, you’ve fallen—this walking stuff might not be for you. You should stick to crawling.”
  • “I know someone that tried that and still can’t walk, just save yourself the trouble.”
  • “Wow, that sure is taking you a long time to figure out. Your sister walked a lot faster than you did.”
  • “You know you’re not supposed to walk yet. This is too early. Sit back down and let us carry you for awhile.”
  • “Why would you want to bother with that when you’re already so good at crawling?”
  • “Don’t, Don’t, Don’t—you know you always fall when you do that!” Interesting, isn’t it?

There are SO MANY parallels in this lesson that I hardly know where to begin!

  • Are you surrounding your family, friends and business associates with encouragement, praise and positive words?
  • Are you telling them why they CAN succeed instead of why they cannot?
  • And just as important—are you surrounding YOURSELF with others that encourage YOU in that same way?

LauraLee knows she is in a safe place, surrounded by people who love her and want her to be the best baby she can be! We want her to learn new things, to progress in her ‘walk,’ her journey.

Will you choose someone today that might need your arms reached out? They might need a finger to hold (or just the end of your pinkie)? Is there someone that needs you clapping for them? Find them today. Help them in their walk.

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