I've realized that this initiative has become much more for me. I have met tremendous people during this journey. My customers have become regulars, and friends. They are no longer anonymous faces that just come to buy greeting cards. My support staff has become part of the VHH team. They don't just price merchandise and sell pillows; they are often my sounding board for business and personal endeavors.
The other day, I was at the shop working with AC, my 'right hand woman." We were arranging new inventory of gurgling fish pitchers into a colorful display when I received a troubling personal call. I hung up the phone, fought back tears and took a deep breath. In an attempt to delay the stinging reality of the news I'd just received, I turned back to AC, in auto pilot mode, "okay, so the tangerine needs to go next to the coral. How bout the oatmeal next to the kiwi green?" She understood what I was doing and looked back at me with sympathy and simply said, "You need this place."
I didn't realize it until this point. But, it's so true.
I don't share my life on social media on a deeply personal level. Partly because we are all facing "something" and what makes my road more difficult than anyone else's? Also partly because I have an obligation to preserve and protect my family's privacy. But, in an effort to protect that privacy, it can often feel like our family is isolated and living in a secret world.
I have a seven year old that is trying to navigate through life with sensory processing disorder (among other diagnoses). Her nervous system has to work harder to interpret senses and turn them into appropriate responses. For her, if she doesn't keep her body regulated and calm, she risks violent tantrums and episodes. She has to work much harder than most people for her body to stay regulated and respond in a typical, appropriate manor. Together, we have tried to empower her with a toolbox of techniques to accomplish this task, including behavioral therapy, occupational therapy, social skill building, and her growing maturity as she gets older.
My daughter's diagnosis is her own but she is not 'in this' alone. As her parents, EG and I are responsible to nurture, support, protect and provide resources for her so that she can grow in to a healthy and happy young woman. When she is disregulated, our entire family is impacted. Sometimes it gets messy.
So while Vivid Hue is just a gift shop filled with colorful fun products, it is also my sanctuary.
It's a place where I can let my mind wander for a smidge. My mind is never far from my daughter (and my entire family), but it's nice to have an outlet where I get to focus on making pretty bows and helping a customer decide between a turquoise gurgle pitcher or the coral one.
I need this place.