Well, today has been a really good day and a milestone day for our family. Claire made her first official "outing" at the New Bern Farmer's Market. We had not planned it, but with the weather being so nice and Claire sleeping a lot last night and this morning, Trent and I talked about it and thought it would be a good idea to try it. Just go for however long Claire would want to stay and visit our Scott Farm Organics and Deep Gully Gardens booth (www.scottfarmorganics.com).
So we did just that. But I had NO idea just how anxious and nervous I would be. I knew it would be tough for Claire but I think I had a harder time than she did! I had not prepared what to say to people who wanted to touch her, so when the first friend came up and reached out to touch Claire, I shouted out "please don't touch her!!!". Or at least I hope I said please. I may have just left that part out in desperation. I apologized and still feel bad for saying that, but I couldn't help it.
Claire looked around overwhelmed at times. Other times she seemed fine. She definitely has some stranger anxiety and will cry when strangers get close to her. Please don't take it personally! You have to remember that the only strangers she has seen has 99% of the time been doctors and are getting ready to poke and prod her.
We were able to stay about an hour. Then it was nap time. I thought she did quite well for her first real outing! I am proud of Claire!
So, as a warning, if you see us out and about as we are attempting to do, please be aware of our anxiety. The past 8 months have been spent keeping Claire alive by keeping her healthy. That meant not going anywhere, not even visiting close family and friends. That meant antibacterial hand sanitizer on our hands at all times. It could have been the difference between life and death for Claire at times, and at other times, it could have saved her hospital stays or sicknesses that could have made her issues a lot worse.
We are planning to have Claire baptized in the next few weeks, and as we look forward to it so much, I can already feel the anxiety and my throat closing up knowing we will be in an enclosed building with lots of people. At least the market was open and not enclosed. So that will be a whole other experience in itself.
Please don't get me wrong! We know how much each and every one of you love Claire, have prayed for her ceaselessly, and think of her every day. And we all want you to be able to hug and kiss all over her. But it's just going to take time. For her to get well enough and for us to get used to it. She's still in recovery and has to build up her little immune system slowly but surely.
So if you see us out, know we are trying to overcome fears - all of us. And we would love for you to come over to us and see Claire. But please also know that to continue to keep her safe, and to keep me sane, we would appreciate if you could hold off on touching her for a little while longer.... Please???? (Wanted to make sure I said it this time ahead of time!). And please do not take offense to our request or this post. It's not directed to anyone specifically. It's just my way of asking politely without having to blurt something out in fear. Then everyone can be happy - Claire will be glad to see you, we will be glad to see you, Claire will not be exposed to unnecessary germs while we are in transition, and we will not be so anxious about taking her out places.
This momma bear (and daddy bear) is going to do whatever it takes to protect this baby Claire bear.
The Scott Family
Pics of our outing will come later!!