Passion flower tincture - drop drop drop. Peppermint tea. Deep breaths.
It's the night before nido starts, and I'm nervous. As I've gotten older, I notice that my stomach reacts to nerves in a way it never did before, and it is certainly reacting now, tying itself up in frantic vibrating knots.
I remind myself to reframe it - it's just two mothers and their lovely children coming over. And while that is sort of true, it's also not the full extent of it. This is the first time we will be trying out the idea I've been pouring my mind and heart into for the last 15 months. And even though I know that my expectations need to match reality, it is hard not to put a lot of stock in the success or failure of this day.
So I go to sleep and sleep poorly. My daughter is awake much of the night, pushing her molars through her sore gums. I wake up tired and still nervous. I can't eat. My daughter is drowsy and grumpy.
And then, the first child arrives. And the second and third. We introduce ourselves, remove coats and shoes. There is much clinging to Mama and stock-still stares. Where are we? Who are these people?
The first day is difficult. There is crying, of course. There are red faces and tender hearts. But at the end of the day, I am left with the thought that this just might work.
But I am also aware of the possibility that it might not work. I realize that there are going to be even more hurdles than I expected, and that some great people might find that it is not a good fit for them. Surprisingly, I find that I am okay with this. At some point during or after this difficult first day, I arrived to a state of acceptance.
I was thinking about this that night as I washed my face and got ready to fall into a deep, deep sleep. I remembered something my mother has said to me every time in my life when I have tried something new:
"You always give 110%. They will see that you are giving it your all."
While I appreciated the support, this comment has always made me uncomfortable, because I knew in my heart that I was not giving one hundred percent, and certainly not one hundred ten. Over and over, I have given my work something short of my whole self. I have been scared to take that leap - scared to give it my all, because I knew that if I gave it my all and failed, then I would have only myself to blame.
Holding a warm cloth to my face and looking in the mirror, it occurred to me that I am now giving it everything I have. One hundred percent, one hundred ten, maybe even one hundred fifty. I have made what many people would call sacrifices to see nido come alive, and yet they have never seemed like sacrifices to me - each decision, each long night, each investment of time, money, sweat and tears was just the thing that had to be done.
The thing that is so interesting to me about this is that the fear I expected - the fear that if it fails now, that I will only have myself to blame - that fear is not there. Now, when I think about the possibility of failure, I never think of it as a personal failing. If nido fails, then yes, something wasn't right - the timing, the structure, the location, something. But I know that it won't fail from lack of effort. That part is certain. Because I am definitely giving one hundred percent.