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This is a brief disclaimer for those of you who are excited that this post is about 7-11 stores. I hate to burst your bubble, but I will not be talking about Slurpees in this post. But I encourage you to stick with me, here…this might be a good one for you anyway!

As I’m sure you know by now, the experience of being a Heart Parent is a very atypical one, and it’s often checkered with setbacks, let-downs, and overall slow progress. And gosh, those things are really frustrating, aren’t they? And if you’re like me, whenever there is even a small ounce of progress, you kinda wish that there was more, quicker progress. We’re only human, though, and I don’t necessarily think it’s such a bad thing – after all, we only want the best for our kiddos.

But I also think what I tend to do is overlook the small, progress…the small steps, if you will. For example, I remember when Nolan was really little and he worked so hard in physical therapy, learning how to walk. But before he got there, he had to learn how to crawl, then how to sit up, then how to stand, and then finally how to walk. And as much as we wanted that end result, it couldn’t happen with all the steps leading up to it.

Let’s think about steps for a minute: for those of us who are able, we use steps all the time. I lose count of how many times I go up and down the stairs at home for whatever reason (mostly going upstairs trying to tell the kids to go to sleep – again). You might know how many steps or flights we have to climb…but have you ever stopped to think about the actual size of an individual step? I’ve seen the typical stair step measurement described as “7-11”.  This means that the run of the step (where you place your foot to step up) is typically 11 inches wide/deep. The rise of the step (how tall it is or how high it is before the next step) is typically 7 inches. So think about a single, solitary step: that means you’ve gotta lift your foot at least 7 inches and plop it on a platform that’s 11 inches deep, and in doing that you’ve essentially moved yourself 7 inches or so higher.

Seems like not a whole lot of movement, right? Well that’s why it’s called a step, because it eventually gets you where you need to go. And that’s what I think all of us (especially me) need to remember: every small step you or your child take might only be 11 inches up and 7 inches forward….but you’re still headed to the place you wish to go. It may not be at the speed you want to go, but you’re still making progress. Dwell in that thought for a little bit and be happy/grateful for it…you deserve it! Maybe your kiddo isn’t walking yet, but he or she is crawling…well that’s a great first step before standing and walking. Maybe the ICU has only weaned off one med or removed one chest tube. That’s one less thing and one step in a positive direction. Before you get too upset that you’re not quite “there,” take a quick moment to see if you’re at least on your way.