The Case of the Missing Shoe

My 4-year-old really enjoys mystery books. He often chooses to listen to books by audio for kids on a long ride and typically chooses stories with a mystery to solve. Little did I know a mysterious course of events would unfold in real life…

Ok…so for those parents reading this post, don’t you just love little shoes? There is something about kids feet and those cute little shoes we invest money to buy. The bigger question I have is, why didn’t anyone tell me kids shoes are human and tend to walk away whenever they like?

Several weeks ago, my son and I left to run some errands for the day. He slipped on his really cute brown flip flops that could go with any outfit, and we are off! Now, he had both flip flops on his feet when we stopped at a restaurant to get some food across town. We arrived at our home about 20 minutes later and like normal, preparing to get out of the car. My son gets out of his car seat and says, “Where’s my shoe?” With no worries at all I reply, “Look on the floor under the seat.” About 5 minutes go by and now we are both searching and there is no shoe in sight. Of course, since it’s a flip flop I’m pretty confident it fell outside in the parking lot of the restaurant. I call the restaurant and one of the staff kindly goes out and looks in the parking lot where we were and sees NOTHING! We continue to search and in my bewilderment, we have yet to locate the missing flip flop.

Fast forward a few weeks ago, running out for errands again, my son has on these cute black athletic slides for the day. Now…I am keeping my eye on these shoes the entire ride because I’m still bitter about the flip flop. I remember glancing back one time and seeing one shoe on his foot and the other he was playing with as a toy in his hand. We get home from running errands, I let him out his car seat and he says, “Where’s my other shoe?” My eyes bucked, but I’m pretty calm and just knew it must have fallen under his seat or be in his car seat. I get out…we looked…and looked…and looked. What?! This can’t be…AGAIN??

It’s still a mystery. I’m perplexed. If I were a kids shoe, where would I go? Who am I with? Would I miss my other half? As a parent, do I keep the single shoe or throw it away? Most importantly, can ANYONE relate to this parenting experience? 😕…

Happy parenting!

Dr. TC

The First Child…

My First Child…Elliott McCray Crooms. The joy he brings is indescribable. ❤️

My first child is now 4 years old. 4! And I’m currently expecting child #2. I will admit, the reality of having a second child brings up anxiety and has led to deep reflection of motherhood and my personal journey with my First Child. When I look around and hear from others expecting a second child, I’m not for certain if others experience these deep reflective moments as often as I do. Maybe? However, I do know I’m analytical and I find solace in deep, internal reflection and the insights gained through these experiences. So I share my thoughts with you about The First Child with the hope it helps someone else in their journey of motherhood and personal growth.

I have realized that The First Child has a special role unlike subsequent children. Why? Because I believe they are designed to bring out parts of our character we wouldn’t otherwise realize. The First Child is also a conduit to continued personal growth and redefining our purpose in life. The First Child is purposed to display our strengths…and far too often…our areas of growth. (Notice I do not use the word weaknesses. I believe areas where we are inept are simply opportunities to grow and be better, if we are willing) In layman’s terms, The First Child carries most of our emotional baggage!

What I’ve also learned is that The First Child is as much of the teacher as we are. And for that, I am forever grateful for the gift I’ve been given. Someone I respect reminded me just this morning how blessed I am and my children are for having me. What that says to me also is that I’ve done enough things right with The First Child I have been given the opportunity to do it again…better. I think my anxiety in having a second child is a healthy level of anxiety because it keeps me humble and keenly aware of not just being a mother and taking care of children, but the experience of motherhood and how it wholeheartedly takes care of me. Motherhood nurtures me, inspires me, and develops me. Motherhood allows me to be me…safely, without judgment. Motherhood connects me spiritually. Motherhood brings out the best in me.

No matter how motherhood comes, whether biologically, through foster care or adoption, guardianship, spiritually or the like…take some time to reflect and appreciate The First Child that was purposed to bring you to this identity of being a “mother”. The First Child shows you your worth and your value as a person. Go hug and embrace your first child and thank them sincerely for their role in your life…just not in front of your other children 😜.

Happy parenting,

Dr. TC

Turning Over A New Leaf

I believe in the process of re-creating yourself over and over throughout life as new information is learned, circumstances change, new experiences are encountered, and new perspectives are developed. I believe it is perfectly healthy and necessary to change and grow…for better.

I’ve had several significant “new leaf” experiences in my life. Some I share and process with others, others I embrace the changes in solitude. It occurred to me about a week ago it’s the season to begin yet another “new leaf” experience and journey. This one involves the initial work of changing my internal schema in order to more consistently attract self-motivated, confident, faith-filled individuals. You are what you attract and I’ve realized the law of attraction provides valuable information I need to see in order to alter my role in my relationships.

One professional role that is rewarding and fulfilling is my role as licensure supervisor. In this role, I begin the relationship with my supervisee as that of expert, giver of information, gatekeeper, and more of the authority figure. By the end of the role, it is my job to empower the supervisee to become the expert in their professional role and identity, the new giver of information and perspectives, self-supervisor, and colleague. I absolutely enjoy the developmental phases of supervision because I enjoy giving “wings that can now fly independently”, building the confidence to “leave the nest”. It excites me to see the fruit of the labor of love and dedication I put into the supervision relationship.

Professionally, it’s working. Personally, not always.

Personally this developmental progression seems to halt before the fruit has been fully produced. The love and dedication put into relationships ceases to have the impact of positive change it was intended to have…for either party. This realization is always unexpected and leaves me questioning the course of the relationship and my role. I’m really not sure what is different in these relationships. My expectations? Their role? My approach? Their mindset?

Whatever the reason may be, I wonder if I show up differently in my professional life than in my personal life? Many of us do. Our true selves and all our personal struggles are manifested more in our personal lives and relationships. This is the area I choose to be more intentional and more aware. The same level of confidence and tenacity I demonstrate professionally, I must also demonstrate personally. This will likely change who I attract and the experiences encountered in my personal relationships.

This “new leaf” journey is exciting for me as I continue to define my influence in the world. It’s time to turn over this new leaf for the betterment of myself and those I’ve been purposed to serve.

Dr. TC

Pregnancy, trauma, and COVID..OH MY!

Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. If you are pregnant in the middle of a pandemic I hope you can relate. If you are simply just living and surviving through the pandemic I think you can still relate. The COVID-19 pandemic has added so much more mental weight for many people. It has forced our minds to send our executive brain into overdrive just making daily decisions to protect ourselves and our families. Do I wear a mask or not? Do I go to the grocery store or order? Do I plan a vacation or wait? Should I send my kid back to school or keep them home? Should I get the vaccine or not? Is this even real or just a hoax? Who should I listen to? Will I be ok? Will my family be ok? Will this ever end?

Questions. Traumatic times coupled with life-changing decisions can overwhelm the mind and lead to burnout. I realized the magnitude of mental weight and pressure just the other day while in the waiting room to get my first COVID-19 vaccine shot. I’m sitting there holding my pregnant belly and the hand of my 4 year old and my rising anxiety brought me to tears. I’ve been vaccinated plenty of times in my life, but this one was different. We definitely decided against the vaccine in my first trimester, last year’s pregnancy loss helped us make that decision. As I’m in my second trimester and the baby is developing normally, the decision is more on me. How do I best protect myself, my family, and my unborn baby? As I’m sitting there in this place of unknown, I began to cry. The nurse came out and asked me a few questions. But, what she did that was most powerful was wait patiently and just sit with me. She let me be in my thoughts and fully experience my emotions for as long as I needed. In that moment and space I began to let my mind and spirit speak to me about my next move. It wasn’t about me. In the end I allowed the needle to sink into my arm and release its contents into my system.

I did it! What did I do? I conquered my anxiety. I overcame my fear. I made a decision in a place of unknown. I moved even though I was uncomfortable. I used my faith. In that moment I redefined faith as “decisions in action.”

Even in these trying, unexpected times anxiety doesn’t have to win!

Dr. TC

Simple Joy

You know…one thing that is consistent in my life is my ability to find joy in the simple things. I think sometimes we all are guilty of “overthinking”, “overachieving “, being “too ambitious”, reaching for “unrealistic expectations”, being “too hard on ourselves” that we don’t stop and smell the flowers. We often miss out on the simple pleasures in life that honestly have a big impact on our mental, spiritual, and physical well-being.

Today…I decided to take an inventory of the Simple Joys in my life:

🌺 a warm cup of tea

🌺 a hot shower

🌺 a good laugh

🌺 listening to my kid sing unrehearsed

🌺 puzzles & games

🌺 beautiful landscapes & plants

🌺 riding through the city

🌺 babies

🌺 reading & writing

🌺 a clean house

🌺 a good movie

🌺 soft fabric

🌺 loose, comfortable clothes

🌺 bare feet

…the more I write the more that comes to mind. This blog is a reminder to myself and to you to take your own Simple Joy inventory and remind yourself that despite life challenges, experiencing joy is simple and always available.

Dr. TC

Do you find your passions or do your passions find you?

I really don’t know. It seems I’m always thinking about my passions and how others connect with their own. As a person who is multi-gifted, it’s always been a source of confusion and frustration for me not knowing what my “thing” is. I believe when you operate in what you’re passionate about it brings joy, purpose, and sustains you…eventually, with some sacrifices. Are you willing to sacrifice in order to do what you are passionate about?

So…as I’m sitting here, yet another moment pondering how passions develop, I think about our son. He is 4 years old and seems to already “know” what he is going to do in life. He absolutely, without a doubt, loves football. I remember at one church service he told us that “God told him he was going to play football all the time.” Since just before the age of 3, football has been his life. I’ll admit, I think I was the first one to introduce him to the game. I have always been a NFL fan and enjoy following every season. He can’t go a day without football in some capacity. He talks about his future in football all the time, down to how he flies to the stadium for his games, he has pretend football meetings on Zoom, he has even driven his motorized BMW to the stadium “a.k.a. our back yard” to start his game. Did football find him or did he find football?

In a recent conversation, he communicated that he no longer wanted to continue one activity we have him in, which is in addition to flag football he recently started. He said he “likes it” but knows everything. We proceed in the conversation comparing said activity to football and the topic of passions came up. I taught him what being passionate meant, including not giving up on it even when it was challenging, and he quickly recognized that this described his relationship with football and why he wanted to focus on that instead.

Now, I know he’s 4 and any day now we could be on to the next thing. But, I have been amazed at how dedicated and consistent he is with football and question whether I have that same dedication and consistency with what I’m passionate about. It was a good mental challenge and helps me refocus on how I choose to invest my own time in my life. Through the innocence of a child, I’m learning the joy of really living life more abundantly by intentionally investing my time and resources in where my passions lie.

Live life more abundantly,

Dr. TC

I didn’t realize how crippling trauma could be…

If you have been following my writings, June 2020 I experienced a miscarriage. The shock and devastation of bouncing into the ultrasound room, alone because of COVID-19, eager and excited to see a little body with a heartbeat, only to be told “there is no heartbeat” crippled my spirit. The trauma worsened after my body loss so much blood I passed out and was physically on my knees for about 2 weeks from weakness.

I processed this experience using all I had…my faith. A friend shared a book that aided in my healing and I continued with life, with frequent flashbacks of that emotionally painful experience. I wouldn’t say I’m completely healed, but I’ve felt I’m in a healthy space of grieving this experience.

Then…March 2021, I found out I’m pregnant again. I’m shocked and happy…sort of. The questions, the sheer panic of “will it happen again”, “how will I make it through this…again”, “do we share the news or wait?”, “was it me that caused the last one?”, “what do I do?”, etc. The thoughts, the questions loom over me day after day. I have been anxious about what I eat, if I should exercise, how to sleep, who to tell, when to share, how to plan, should I plan…

This is trauma. It’s been crippling mentally and emotionally at times. It’s not fair to my unborn child to develop under so much anxiety. My faith has helped me manage, but I’m hoping I’m doing enough to protect my unborn child from inheriting the anxiety of my past trauma.

Nevertheless…I’m intentionally choosing to press forward in my healing and finding joy in what’s to come. We have passed some milestones…💕saw a heartbeat 💕 passed genetic testing 💕 found out gender 💕 have due date 💕 felt some movement …maybe I’ll get the courage to wear the “rainbow baby” t-shirt that was gifted to us, maybe not. Maybe I’ll post pics of my growing bump, maybe not. Maybe I’ll introduce our baby to our circle of influence after birth only, maybe not. My sincere prayer…that my efforts to heal continue to silence the trauma and give more voice to my JOY. 🙏🏽

Yours in Christ,

Dr. TC

Take the lead or you will be led…

I had an experience with someone recently that is challenged in taking the lead in their own lives. It’s one thing to lose leadership over others and another losing leadership over yourself. As I pondered this, I realized how dangerous it is to not recognize our own setbacks that hold us back from showing up in our lives. I also realized that not taking the lead means by default you will be led by something or someone else. You will lose your voice and ability to direct your own life and future.

Taking the lead to me means to show up, to dream, to set goals, to act. Taking the lead is more than just awareness “I need to do better”, but a plan and start date for “better”. Many people get stuck at the stage between planning and starting, thinking and doing. I believe there are so many dreams delayed simply because of inaction. It’s time to show up and go. Can you imagine a car with brake pedals only? What about a car that can only go in reverse? We would label this type of vehicle as “dysfunctional”.

Don’t get stuck in inaction and dysfunction. Take the lead in your life. Set goals and actually do something to try and achieve them. Be confident. Be bold. Take the lead.

What does this statement mean to you?

Dr. TC