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Tuesday September 19, 2023 stacysue

Oh, my heart.



Always a kid at heart, I recollect. My first stuffed Snoopy was a gift given to me as a baby and became a coveted toy who embarked on many adventures throughout my childhood. Mom often playfully gave him a voice and held him, nodding his head in a puppet-like manner; we’d roll with laughter in Snoopy-filled stories which felt like hours on end. And, no doubt, he was tossed, lost, embraced, and stood by my side daily. Snoopy floods my early memories. After many fixes, sewing new red silky under bellied ears, adding extra white cotton-like stuffing to fluff him up, he was left, dressed in timeworn doll clothes, and is now grey, tattered and torn, but forever loved. Good’ol Snoopy sits slumped upon a chair in my former bedroom and always greets me with a grin and large, black, shiny eyes, his nose now missing, when I visit home.


So, I recently took the gamble and bought an Apple Watch. The ultimate decision maker was the up-and-coming Snoopy watch face. “Snoopy everything” fills my home office and he is a go-to gift from family and friends. A Snoopy Apple Watch simply made sense.


Even before purchasing, I envisioned Snoopy and Woodstock, frolicking and giggling as I’d reference the time or the myriad of other features. I eagerly awaited the watchOS update—and finally last night, after 3 anticipated weeks, Snoopy appeared on my watch face! Today he offered me extra grins and—honest to goodness–many laugh out loud chuckles as he got into comical mischief, while he also took me back to my childhood days. Warmth filled my heart.


Among all the bells and whistles of my Apple Watch (as you see—wooed in by Snoopy feature), I found the heart rate monitor, beats per minute to be the most intriguing (BPM). I watched my heart rate throughout the day as it went up with too much coffee and down in moments of couch potato rest and everything in between. Amidst the hustle and bustle and all of the play, meetings, paperwork, and family life that fill my hours. I discovered that during the times when I see that children and families need me most to be their calm, when escalation in emotion accompanied a stress response, my heart rate dropped, consistently–to 60BPM. This occurrence fascinated me. Let me repeat this—when I see that the children and families need me most…my heart rate dropped.


What does this tell me as a clinician? First, I am thoroughly intrigued. What I mindfully feel internally, a full-bodied calm, is also represented neurophysiologically. Attuned to those surrounding me, my body physically responds to reach a relational homeostasis offering co-regulation. To allow the child and the parent to find a peaceful place, my body is now revealing to me, similarly validated by the evidence-based research, in real-time, that while my conveyed affect and demeanor lessens the stimulation and connecting in relationships, it is accompanied by my resting heart. I intentionally model outwardly what happens inwardly.


My love of Snoopy led me to an Apple Watch. But the Apple Watch, emphasized my settling heart caring for you and your child, offering my example so that you too can experience, feel, and internally make the connection®.


~Dr. Stacy


Author: Stacy Sue Rosello, OTD, MA, OTR/L


Founder, Embrace the Child, ® Ltd.


Copyright © 2023 Stacy Sue Rosello

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