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Monday, December 29, 2014

What the Mall Taught Me About Fear

Taking Cecilia shopping is never a simple task. In fact, it is one thing I am always extremely fearful of, because I am fully aware of the fact that I have absolutely no control over her behavior. I can create a game plan ahead of time, I can proactively come up with incentives to encourage her to make the right choices, but in the end it is up to Cecilia to make those choices. And the choices that she tends to make while shopping, are usually never the good ones. So, I stay hesitant and fearful whenever the idea of shopping arises.

More times than not, Ceci refuses to ride in her stroller, even though at some point, her hypotonia really kicks in and she tires out. Even when she is exhausted, she would rather walk than ride, and if I attempt to place her in the stroller, there is an epic tantrum. Cue more fear and lots of panic.

Ceci's idea of shopping is running rampant through a store, pulling items off of shelves and hangers while laughing hysterically. It often makes for a difficult shopping experience and an overly tired and stressed mom.

So, I allow my fear to take over, and I skip out on shopping all together .

Today, I wanted to shop for outfits for the sibling photo shoot the girls are having at the end of January. And as excited as I am about the pictures, I wasn't looking forward to the shopping experience without the muscles of the operation (my husband, Brent.)

Against the advice of my level headed and sane mom friends, I took the girls shopping. And I was pleasantly surprised.

Not only did Ceci behave exceptionally, but I also met two amazing moms of children with special needs while inside Crazy 8. Surrounded by clothing racks and the steady sound of shoppers feet, we discussed therapies and doctors. We lamented over false and absent diagnoses and hospital stays. And during a moment that was supposed to be stressful and fear evoking, I found comfort and reassurance and an unexpected sisterhood.

My experience today taught me that when we allow our fears to paralyze us, we run the risk of missing out on some amazing and rewarding experiences and people.

And for the first time in a long time, I walked out of the mall with a smile on my face, and I left my fear right next to the "Two for 88 Cents Rack."
My Happy Shoppers

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