A baby is a tiny, sweet thing. With tiny, sweet toes.

Pure potential. But completely there.

Babies need:

love, protection, caring, acknowledgment, rest, nourishment, space to grow, quiet, comfort, people to smile at it, more love…

Babies do not need:

noise, pressure, prodding, poking, to hear all the reasons why different aspects of their life might not be so great…

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

When you are getting to know a new idea that has come (or is on its way) into your life, it is a tiny, sweet thing.

It does not matter if it this is a business thing, an artistic yearning, a creative spark, a pull, a book you might write someday, a place you need to go to, your new idea.

It is small and new, and it needs your love and protection.

And sometimes what’s best is for it is to only be witnessed by people who will tread softly in its presence.

Who respect the shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Who believe in you and in this tiny, beautiful thing.

Protection.

If this extremely small creature is going to grow and become its own being, it needs unconditional love.

And time to catch its breath.

And sometimes that means keeping it apart from anyone who doesn’t understand this.

Hurt.

It’s not that they don’t mean well. Because they do.

Much like the monsters and walls and stucknesses who want only to protect us with their criticism. To keep us from getting hurt.

Telling you all the things that might be wrong with your baby is something they do (mostly) because they love you. They worry about you. They want you to be okay.

You can honor their intention. Or not. Thank them for their wisdom. Or not.

Either way, you still have a responsibility to this tiny, precious thing.

Shoes.

Sometimes it’s people we love most. The ones who love us most.

We want to tell them about our hopes and dreams and worries and loves.

We want to share all of it.

And then these people who love us so much want to jump in and protect us from all the things that could go horribly wrong.

They might not mean to throw shoes. In fact, those shoes might not even be shoes. But ow, they hurt when they land.

And we all know from experience what happens when tiny, little ideas can’t bear that kind of pain.

Sovereignty.

Sovereignty can be an elusive, challenging thing to practice.

Sovereignty is the quality — and the experience — of not giving a damn what other people think because you feel comfortable and safe in your own space.

It’s being yourself and having room to do it in.

It’s a useful thing to work on. And it’s not the easiest thing in the world.

Boundaries.

Sometimes this means not telling certain people about a baby idea until the idea can walk.

Sometimes they can hear about it but they don’t get to give input.

Sometimes you can ask them to write down all their input and give it to you later, when you and your baby are not so vulnerable and easily shaken.

Sometimes you need to be very firm about what is an okay thing to say and what is not. Or asking clearly for what you need and want.

Sometimes you realize you need more people in your life who can say oh wow, look at its beautiful smile, and fewer people in your life who are going to loudly wonder when it’s going to stop looking so deranged.

Space.

Baby ideas need space to grow in.

Safe, loving space to grow in.

Time.

Baby ideas need time to come into themselves.

To be fussed over and flirted with. To be curious about the world.

Love.

If you had a tiny, sweet baby you wouldn’t let people swing it carelessly around.

Or tell you how its ears are kind of weird looking.

Or terrify you with a list of all the things that could theoretically be going wrong with it right this second even though you were just visiting the doctor and she said everything was fine.

Instead, you ask them to give your tiny, sweet thing a little space.

And then you go to your tiny, sweet thing and you whisper to it. And sing to it. And love it. Because it’s yours. And it’s alive. And it will do the most astonishing things.

Maybe it already has.

Comment zen.

There are lots of smart, interesting things that we could say about why feedback is often useful, and why sharing “constructive criticism” can sometimes be useful.

Today isn’t that day.

Today is the day where we say awwwww look at that. Today is the day when we say oh wow you are bringing something into the world — how do you feel?

Today is the day when we are genuinely curious about what we could create if no one was telling us why we couldn’t.

And yeah, first person who asks if I’m having an actual baby gets kicked in the shins.