It was a moment that changed the course of our lives.
As a dad, I want to share a personal story with you.
Something I haven't written about before.
Mostly only our closest friends know about this, but it was a major life event for us and I just wasn't ready to talk about yet...
A couple months after our daughter Emilie's second birthday
I was at work and I got a phone call from my wife telling me to meet her at the ER.
She had just received a call from her mom saying that our daughter Emilie had been bitten in the face by the family dog.
My heart dropped as I told my boss that I needed to leave.
I remember sitting in the car, my mind racing as I rushed to the hospital, not sure what to expect, or what I would see.
I got there and saw my daughter sitting bravely in her grandpa's arms, face covered in blood, and I rushed over to pick her up.
It was a moment I'll never forget.
So many emotions as I struggled to wrap my head around the new future.
Would she lose her eyesight?
How much scarring would there be?
What would this change for her as she grew up and went to school, and interacted with other kids and adults?
this image was taken approximately 1 month after the incident)
It was in this moment, sitting in the hospital, watching my wife hold our daughter, the reality sunk in that everything can change in an instant.
The following few months were a struggle for me as a dad.
I wasn’t prepared for this.
The stares. The questions. The tears. The extra time.
I’d been working two jobs to help support our family. I quit my second one.
My bosses were really understanding and supportive as they learned what happened and I said goodbye to my co-workers for the last time.
So together as a family, we made the trade:
Give up a little extra money, get a little extra time.
Being around more and participating in the healing process was great.
But it wasn’t easy going to the store and dealing with parent’s and stranger’s staring at my daughter’s scars.
I was proactive in explaining what happened and recognizing my daughter’s feelings and personhood.
I would explain what happened as simply as I could, and reminded adults that their reactions to my daughter were not invisible.
Obviously, I was concerned with long-term scarring so I turned to the internet and read about dozens of different salves, homeopathic remedies and essential oil blends to help her heal.
As a result, we ended up with a collection of essential oils each with a different purpose.
These all became familiar fragrances in our home.
I’d mix some blends of essential oils with a carrier oil like Sweet Almond, or Coconut Oil.
I used some of them for her wounds, others because they smelled great and promoted different moods or feelings.
I learned about ratios and how the aromas would change when mixed together.
I learned about the properties of the oils and what each oil could be used for.
One night, I put some organic lavender in coconut oil and rubbed it on my wife’s feet before bed.
The next morning she woke up and said “What in the world did you put in that stuff last night? I slept like a rock!”
I tried it again the following night. Same result.
I tried it on myself and our daughter.
It didn’t knock me out, but I woke up rested and I noticed our daughter seemed to be sleeping better too!
Let me rewind for a second...
Just two months before the accident, my wife and I had started a new side project together.
We created and designed a pillow for toddlers and sold it on Amazon. It was the first machine washable pillow, chemical free, covered in soft organic cotton.
Somehow we’d managed to get a loyal base of raving moms who loved our product.
I reached out to our customers and asked if they had any experience with lavender oil.
I was clearly late to the game, since most parents had said that they knew lavender was good for promoting sleep and healing.
So we made up a batch of Lavender and coconut oil and sent it out to our customers to try.
Each customer told us how they loved the pure lavender smell instead of all the fragranced products they had laying around their home.
But there was one suggestion that made all the difference.
For the last few months, we've been doing a little experiment designed around this suggestion.
It’s the idea that
“It only takes a few intentional minutes to completely change a life"
The experiment takes a total of 35 minutes (5 minutes a day for a week).
You can do it anywhere.
It’s backed in both science, medicine, folklore and magic.
And I guarantee, if you try it, it will make your parenting easier and increase the connection you have with your family 10x.
(Emilie says "this is a highlight of my day!!" - her scars are almost gone too!!!)
I rub some Lovely Lavender Massage Oil on my hands and rub her back, then her feet, then her tummy and her wrists.
We talk about the highlights from the day.
Things we learned
What was tough
Where we wished we had some help
What we're looking forward to tomorrow....
It didn't take very long for us to start seeing the benefits
We started connecting emotionally, physically, experientially, in a new and healing way.
Everyone from homeopathic practitioners, to aromatherapists, to university doctoral students, to scientists, to my grandma talk about the calming benefits of lavender oil.
It just took a long time for me to actually try it.
And the results have been rewarding.
"The lavender massage and connection routine works so well because it incorporates one of the least understood, and most powerful senses - the sense of smell”
So each night, right before bed, we're hitting on 4 of the 5 senses
And as these senses are layered together, they create a magical experience of connection.
I agree with my daughter - It's become one of my favorite times of the day too.
This is the short version of how I’m finding purpose in my daughter’s scars.
How a dog bite and a trip to the ER got me interested in Essential Oils
How that connected with another project we were working on.
How talking with parents helped us discover a new routine.
It’s why I’m sharing this short simple routine with you.
Because it can change lives.
Today, ask someone about their day, their thoughts, their world.
Do it for a week and let me know if you notice a difference.
It’s a small, 35 minute time commitment and the payoff is huge.
The sad part is, most parents probably won’t do anything about it.
I know because I’ve seen it over and over again.
It’s easy to read a story on the internet.
Or know in your head a good idea when you see one.
But good intentions fail when they’re not implemented.
So to help you out, I’m going to ask you to do one, two, or three things before you close this page.
We sell Lovely Lavender Massage Oil on Amazon for $16.95