Little things matter. Along the way you discover they weren't so little after all.

Tag Archives: Fear

Today my daughter has a well-child doctor appointment. She’s healthy, growing well. She finally eats more nutritious things so I think I can say with confidence we’re out of the phase when the only fruit or veggie she’d eat was applesauce and the occasional banana. I have no doubt that she’ll get a glowing report of her progress since her last well-child check up.

The problem is kindergarten.

Princess Teacup starts kindergarten next month.

Unless you’re a conscientious objector and fill out the correct forms, all kids must have their immunizations up to date in order to start kindergarten.

Immunizations mean shots.

There’s no “maybe” about it. I know for a fact that she’s due for them and that she’ll get the shots (probably four) today at the appointment.

When I mentioned it to her in passing two weeks ago — you know, just let her know the possibility of shots was out there for her as part of the milestone of starting kindergarten — she turned red and tears filled her eyes. She promptly ran to her room, hid under her covers and shouted, “I just want to be alone right now!”

You can see why I haven’t brought it up again.

Princess Teacup on bike

This has made me weigh different options in my mind. Princess Teacup has two older brothers, and in the past I’ve tried to keep them informed of what to expect, how to handle getting a shot, etc. with a lot of lead time so they could get used to the idea and we could talk about how to get through it.

That didn’t work so well.

The oldest specifically said he wished he hadn’t know about the shots until they were about to do them. This comes from a kid who tends to worry, so by the time the shots came, he had built up the event until it was a scheduled amputation rather than a round of immunizations.

I think I’ve tried to block it from my memory but if I try hard I can remember a couple nurses holding him down during that appointment.

Things with the second are a little foggy, but I’m pretty sure I told him about his appointment a few days before. I remember saying I wasn’t sure what was going to happen but shots were a possibility. I felt a little more comfortable with some fuzziness around the edges of truth on that one (I knew full well he was going to need shots) but not all the way willing to tell him he wasn’t going to get shots.

Princess Teacup is our last person to enter kindergarten. Will I lie and assure her she will not need shots as we enter the clinic? Will I soothe her with falsehood as we sit in the waiting room and watch the fish tank? Will I look her in the eye and feign shock when, during the appointment, the nurse or doctor informs us immunizations are necessary?

It’s a strong possibility.

One thing I’m totally sure of: there will be huge amounts of ice cream afterwards. I’ll bring her favorite stuffed animal to the doctor’s office so she’ll have it if she wants it. I’ll have suckers in my purse and she can play games on my phone all she wants.

Bribery? Guilt offering? Soothing my guilty conscience?


But I’m okay with that…for today.

Do you have any vivid memories of getting shots as a kid? If you have kids, how do they handle difficult doctor’s appointments? Concerning stressful events, do you think it is better for kids to have a lot of information ahead of time or not much, and why?



Harp (Photo credit: spike55151)

It was a strange emotion, one that I couldn’t easily identify. It felt like a physical shift had taken place, like something had snapped off in my heart. It left a dull ache, a shortness of breath.

One moment I was fine, feeling confident and positive.

The next I felt hollow, as if someone had just let me in on a joke, and I was the butt of it.

I was the butt.

In trying to trace it back to its source, there was a conversation, the one when I was supposed to be thinking about new ways to develop my writing, except that 90% of the suggestions were things I already do naturally. So not only am I a know-it-all, now I’m a snob since I feel like I’ve got it pretty well figured out. Not that my novel’s published but I am on the right track.

It might have stemmed from the music on the radio, a harpist in the background playing a fairly simple, repetitive riff that was lovely and making the harpist millions. “I could do that,” I thought. And then it hit me: maybe I couldn’t do that. Maybe, although I play the harp and have since childhood, maybe I could never be that person who revels in being onstage, performing under pressure that way.

And that was it. The cogs clicked into place.

Maybe I’m a fraud.

Maybe I just think I’m a writer.

Maybe I just think I’m a good harpist.

Maybe I like the image of those roles and the sense of being set apart from regular, workadayjob people. If I can say I’m working on an article or preparing for a “gig” (see? even that sounds pretentious doesn’t it?) then I am doing something worthwhile, something more than simply being a stay at home mom.

In response to a failed attempt to make a tiger mask for my daughter’s school program, a dear friend gently pointed out that I can be domestic and not be crafty.  WHAT?? I’m not crafty??

In the same way, I’m afraid that somewhere down the line a friend will gently pull me aside and tell me I’m more of an amateur writer than one with professional potential. That’s where the fear kicks in, when I think I’m on the road to being a writer and could discover, after I’ve worn out five pair of shoes, that I’ve been deluding myself this whole time, that I’m a dabbler not an author.Paper Shredder

The harp thing, I can take that or lose it. I know that I was a skilled musician at one time, and in order to be one it takes a big investment of time and energy (having a pedal harp doesn’t hurt either). I don’t choose to invest my time that way now. I enjoy the music, I value music, but I don’t have to be the one playing it to benefit from it.

Is writing the same thing?

Will I look back on this time, shake my head and chuckle at my grandiose aspirations?


However, even while it is terrifying to say it out loud, I think I will always be glad I invested my time and energy in pursuing this dream. I don’t belittle the time I spent pursuing music, even though I don’t play in an orchestra or prestigious ensemble now. Why must a person continue the same activity over an entire life-span for it to count as a valid pursuit? Is it enough that a person put her whole heart into an endeavor, no matter how long that endeavor lasted?   

I may be the butt of the joke, I may not realize how tiny I am or how microscopically small my chances are of being published, but isn’t it better to go after something with passion rather than sit idly by on the side-lines? What’s that phrase? Go Big or Go Home.

So even while it scares me and I think I may end up being a statistic,

I’m willing to invest time and energy in something I love doing, something that brings connection and joy, is a creative outlet and a salve for mind and soul, even if it ends up being for my own health and well-being. Even if people choose to look at my attempts as a joke,

I am willing to be the butt of that joke.

I’m going to be the biggest, best butt you ever did see.

Do you have any dreams that are taking a long time to happen? What do you do to counter-act fear in your life?

This post is a result of a writing prompt coordinated by Lisa Jo Baker ( .  Here’s what she says about it:

  • On Fridays around these parts we like to write. Not for comments or traffic or anyone else’s agenda. But for pure love of the written word. For joy at the sound of syllables, sentences and paragraphs all strung together by the voice of the speaker.
  • We love to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not. For five minutes flat.

Today’s Writing Prompt: After

I tried my first Five Minute Friday post and when I got done with my first five minutes, I balked. Full on chicken moment. It was too personal. It was about childbirth. It was about my daughter. It was about the pain of growing up and common hurts we all face as we grow into adults.

And I couldn’t do it.

I couldn’t share it.

I already hide behind a pen name (do you think my parents named me Nita Holiday for real?). It’s mostly in an attempt to separate my writing life and other life. It’s mostly for myself, as an indicator of what hat I’m wearing when I sit down to write.

But it’s also to protect others. My husband. My children. My extended family.

If you don’t know who I am, you can’t judge me. If I keep you at arm’s length, you can’t dismiss me as being too old, too young, too female, too northern. If you deal only with the image I extend to you, then my anonymity keeps me safe.

It also keeps me from dealing with the people around me, making me brave on paper and a people-pleaser in person.

189/365 July 8 - Better Late Than Never

189/365 July 8 – Better Late Than Never (Photo credit: Sharon Drummond)

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