It has been over 20 years since I was responsible for my own son's potty training. Not that it was an award winning event, still, in the Martin household it was cause for great celebration. No more diapers and no more pull ups. My son had crossed the threshold from toddler to young boy and all he needed at the time was my unconditional support to complete the transition.
Fast forward 20 plus years and I have the honor of watching my best friend's daughter cross that same threshold my son did all those years ago. I sometimes tend to underestimate my calming, supportive influence on people at times and Hailey's first venture into doing what big girls do was no exception. While others in her family wondered if she would understand what was expected of her, I simply showed my unconditional support when the time came and the rest as they say, was history. We celebrated like there was no tomorrow and I presumed my small part in the whole process would soon be forgotten.
I was wrong.
Saturday evening came along and I was sitting in my magical recliner, doing research on my nonfiction manuscript, when I got a phone call from Hailey's grandmother. She visits them most weekends so Mom and Dad can have some grownup time so I was curious as to why in the world my best friend's mom would be calling me? I didn't have long to wonder. Answering the phone, I was surprised to hear a tiny voice on the other end..."Ma'am, I have to go potty!" Okay, Hailey, I had no idea you needed my permission to answer the call of Mother Nature, but go right ahead...we'll celebrate later!
What does all this have to do with the writing life, you might ask? Everything actually.
We writers are lucky enough to find unconditional support in this writing community as we cheer on those baby steps into this new world we so badly want to be a part of. We need to encourage and celebrate each person's step across the threshold from novice to professional writer even if it means answering late night phone calls asking for reassurance that everything will turn out okay. Because it will. Maybe not today or next week, but in the not too distant future our dreams WILL become our reality...all it takes is the belief we can do this.
I believe in Hailey and I believe in YOU!