Mo Chronicles

Life’s a Beach

Now picture a tween preparing for her very first encounter with an orthodontist.

She will be embarking on a trip that will DRAMATICALLY change everything important in a tween’s life. OMG- think about it people you are 11 …the idea of metal which can easily store last night’s leftovers on your face! Also, consider the nightmare of losing out on pounds of delicious ooey gooey treats. No Fruit by the Foot! WAIT, Whatttt?

This IS serious…….

I was ready for the the long sighs, relentless complaining and the oh so long list of excuses for skipping the orthodontist from Mo, my tween daughter. I, mama bear, even rehearsed some awesome propaganda about how great it will be when she gets the braces off. I was ready people.

Then Mo throws me a curve ball. She spent weeks leading up to the appointment genuinely excited about the upcoming experience. Really? Yes, she researched what the results would look like, talked with experts (her friends) and even planned a ceremonial and tearful goodbye to her first love, Mr. Fruit B.T. Foot.

So my first reaction was to encourage this rock star positive attitude. However, as we approached the appointment I started to worry. We were going to an orthodontist office after all. You and I have been there. Scary chairs, new people and the sound of the kids getting their jaw bones tightened. Who am I kidding– this place is going to suck.

Too much of this positive attitude is going to land a very heavy “Rock of Disappointment” directly on Mo’s head. abort ….abort. So, I started dripping doses of experience and reality on her about what to expect. The headgear, retainer, and those rubber bands! Mo cut off my negative attitude at every turn. She is going to need a helmet.

Last week, the big trip to the orthodontist day finally arrived. We walked up a typical hallway of suites in a medical building. Mo is smiling, skipping and walking like we are reaching the gates of Walt Disney World. Ugh..we open the suite door…..

Where the heck are we? What just happened? Is that Coconut, I smell? I must have tripped and bumped my head on the way up here, perhaps died even. That’s it, must have.

We have been transported to the beach people. THE BEACH. This orthodontist office is nothing short of a large budget movie set. It is beyond amazing. There are entire walls painted by a talented artist which easily transport you to the beach. The office is full of boats, beach shops, sand, palm trees and dock lines. The waiting room even has a high top counter with a video game you might expect to see at a bar, that Mo can play!

She was beyond excited.

This is exactly the positive experience Mo had in her thoughts all along. It has me pondering more about the power of positive thinking. Like Mo, could a steadfast and consistent positive attitude transport us to a better outcome as well? Say a beach?

In retrospect , I noticed, I quickly abandoned my positive attitude about the visit simply because of the threat of disappointment. How many times have I done that? Why?

Positivity is a choice and an attitude without much downside. It can open up amazing possibilities, especially in your career — like a beach in the middle of an orthodontist office on a Thursday!


Let’s continue the conversation, visit me at :

SHEpherd, Career Coaching

Mo Chronicles

Big Steps

I have been saying a lot lately…”if I ever write a book…” or “if I ever start a blog..”.

Bla bla bla. Never do. No time! Next chore. No Time. Repeat.

Now I think it’s time to start writing this stuff down. Don’t care if anyone reads it, likes it, follows it, tweets it or whatever anyone does to unlike something these days. Don’t care. I am doing it.  Done. Whew….big step people.

Big steps are hard especially if you have little feet. Let me back up, I am an adoptive parent. My husband and I adopted a 8 year old girl, Mo, from foster care a couple of years ago. After years of sitting back while others made terrible decisions for her, Mo now has a family and community who loves her.

However, what Mo brings to us is what is really worth writing about.

You see Mo is very used to taking big steps, like moving families, changing schools or working hard to recover from past trauma. Sometimes the small steps don’t seem to hit her radar— at all. Because of this she has a natural and raw talent for putting things in perspective- FAST.

Mo constantly wants to makes things better for someone else- always very concerned for their big steps. Mo uses encouragement constantly almost like an organ –vital to her survival. What if we all put other people’s big steps first?  Now that is the world I’d like to live in.

She has dramatically shifted my perspective by letting me borrow her lens. The lens dramatically changes the picture, it is quick and often leaves me stunned at my initial thoughts and reactions. Now of course, most of the time Mo does not know she has this lens or that Mommy is borrowing it (she is 11 after all!)–but that is the beauty of her lessons, they are effortless and authentic.

I will write about these lessons as they surface but will be mindful of my role as Mo’s shepherd…..Constantly protecting and guiding her through more of life’s big steps.

This journey is as rewarding as it is difficult but one that should be shared to drive change in us all.