Sometimes in life, at the worst moment you will have a memorable and inspiring experience. This happened to me last weekend when I was visiting my friends and family in Rotterdam.
Chloé and I went on a ‘girls only trip.’ Looked very much forward to it and this happy little lion is almost always joining me with a big smile on her face. Actually nothing really changed about my opinion towards her since I wrote my ode to her.
Now, she is a six month old baby andI try to adjust my schedule as I can be very enthusiastic trying to meet up with lots of people. Looking back, I still should have planned more peace and rest for Chloé. With a 4,5 hour drive and getting much attention of an enthusiastic family and little sleep during the day, the dinner with friends at night started as a nightmare. Although I did expect a little resistance of her sleeping in a pushchair, it got worse than that…
As I tried harder to calm her down, she panicked more and more. I didn’t feel ashamed among the other guests, however I did feel horrible not being able to calm my babygirl down. Stubborness came over me, just trying to wiggle the pushchair back and forth, forth and back. I was just out of ideas of what to do. Then, a man suddenly stood next to me. With a calm and deep voice, he asked me; “Can I help you? She is really panicking…”
The way he asked this question was crucial. He sincerely wanted to help me and asked for a yes or no. Whatever I chose was fine with him. This feeling opened a way to listen and think again. There was very little room for others with a desperately crying baby next to me. He looked at me and started asking questions about Chloé. I answered them and already the situation eased down. He held her for a minute and gave some advice. One of his advices was how to ease a child down when it’s upset. He mentioned that the art is finding a balance between attention and neglecting. He softly holded Chloé against him, while talking with a deep and soft voice to me and moved her just a little from left to right as he explained. She eased down.
I got curious about him and wondered about who he was? “Who are you?” I said to him. “With all these questions it is hard to believe that you are just a concerned person.” He answered me;” I am a paediatrician specialised in neonatology and besides that I have two daughters.” I immediately trusted him.
This man was special. You just know it in an instant. With Chloé calmed down, I could actually start conversations with my friends and take a look at the menu. But then, Chloé started crying again. I didn’t manage to calm her down again. I immediately walked over to “the doctor” and asked him for help. It’s a fragile boundary; asking for help as a mother. Sometimes people really just make you feel bad or are obviously or indirectly judgemental.
The best way I can describe this, is that he helped from his inner strength; obviously a lot of experience and confidence about his knowledge and skills. He didn’t want to hear a thank you. His motivation wasn’t likely to be external focussed, but really from the heart.
The day after I was still in thoughts and one friend that was joining me that evening, looked him up on the internet. As a doctor he coaches people among different therapies, being specialised in helping people through traumatic events as he has seen a lot as a paediatrician. Also in his personal life, coming out after 20 years marriage with a wife and two daughters had thought him valuable lessons.
I am grateful and inspired meeting this man. I learned about my daughter and learned about life. Being confident and do what you love, with the use of all your experiences in life can make a difference. This man didn’t need a lot of words to tell me that when I met him. A true hero.