Posts Tagged ‘sons’

Meditating Mom

January 8, 2014

The sun is just starting to crest over the roofs of neighboring houses when I wake.  I roll out of bed and say, “Thank you Spirit,” as my feet touch the floor. My husband is sleeping peacefully and the house is quiet as I prepare my meditation mat, blankets and bolsters on the bed.

Facing the open windows and the rising sun, I settle comfortably on the bolster and fold my legs into an easy half lotus. I take a deep breath as I look at the changing colors of the brightening sky.

My focus changes to my breathing and I close my eyes. I feel my body ease into the joy of stillness. I can feel my heartbeat. My palms are resting one on the other, and I sense the energy exchange between them.

“Hrmphtschorph.”

I hear my husband make an interesting waking sound as I feel him stretching on the bed. He gets up, walks into the bathroom and immediately starts brushing his teeth. I ignore the sounds and focus on my breathing once again. I am immune to outward sounds.

Knock, knock.

That can’t be one of my sons. My older son has already left for high school and my younger son doesn’t have to get up for another 30minutes.

Knock, knock. “Mom?”

It is the younger son. What is he doing up at this early hour? I hear my husband turn on his electric razor and the rhythmic whir as he moves up and down on his jaw.

“Mom, are you sure today is an A day at school and I don’t need my trombone for band?”

I easily open my eyes and slowly turn my head toward him like the meditating goddess that I am. I speak with a peaceful calm, “Honey, bring me my cell phone from the kitchen counter.”

He leaves and I return to my focused breathing. I empty my mind. I ignore the sound of the shower running and the clanking of the ironing board being opened in the bathroom next door. I am peace. I am bliss. I am meditating.

Bang. My son returns, swinging the door open with a bit too much force, and it slams into the bookstand behind it. I slowly open my eyes, and mentally remind myself that I am a yoga goddess. I am above anger and frustration. I am The Meditating Mom.

I reach from beneath my blanket and take the cell phone from my son. I patiently tap on the screen until I find the email from his band instructor. Together we read the email regarding the appropriateness of leaving his trombone at home.

“Okay, thanks Mom,” he says, and walks from the room, gently closing the door.

I return to focused breathing, an empty mind, a peaceful spirit. I am so deep in meditation, I don’t realize my son has returned until he says…

“Why are you sitting there like that? Are you meditating?”

I look upon him with the peaceful grace of The Meditating Mom that I am. I nod slowly, with loving eyes. Then I notice his hair is not combed and he’s wearing one light jacket to go to the bus – which is not coming for another 45 minutes. My meditating mind wonders 3 things at once:

  1. Why hasn’t he combed his hair? Didn’t he look in the mirror?
  2. Atlanta is experiencing record low temperatures in a single digit. Is he planning to go the bus stop in that light jacket?
  3. Why in the world is this child standing here ready for school almost an hour before he’s supposed to be?

But I am The Meditating Mom. I will not attack this child with queries and frustrated commentary on the importance of looking in the mirror before you leave the house. Instead, I patiently say…

“Honey, do you know how cold it is outside?” He shrugs nonchalantly. Does this mean that he doesn’t know or that he does know and just doesn’t care? I try another tactic.

“Come here. Let’s look at the temperature.” I click on the screen of my smart phone until the screen changes to an icy blue and the number 14 shows up. “Honey, that’s the temperature. It’s too cold for that light jacket.” He sighs in frustration. He thinks I might be suggesting he wear a heavier, warmer coat. Uh, yes. I am.

Holding out hope that he’s not completely insane, I try another idea. “Open your jacket and let me see what you’re wearing underneath.”It’s possible he has on a long sleeved shirt. Or maybe an athletic Under Armor beneath a t-shirt. Something that indicates he understands that 14* is pretty d@#% cold. Oops. That’s not what a meditating yoga goddess would think.

I take a deep breath and let it out slowly as I see my child is wearing only a t-shirt from the summer. No sleeves. No Under Armor. No undershirt. Just a summer T.

I try one more time to be the blissfully peaceful, soft-spoken yoga mama I know I am. “Honey, you need to put on a long sleeved shirt.”

He emits another heavy sigh, as though I’m the one that’s crazy and suggesting something absolutely asinine. “Mom,” he says with emphasis. “Can I just wear another jacket over this one?”

I do an internal debate with myself. Two heavy jackets equal one big coat. I can end this discussion and get back to my meditation if I agree with this negotiation concession. “Yes.” He leaves, satisfied.

I close my eyes. I settle beneath my blanket. I breathe.

Sigh.

Is that my son sighing in my bedroom while I’m meditating? I open my eyes and turn my head to see him leaning on the door and looking out the window. In his own way, he’s meditating. That’s my baby.

But this Meditating Mom is done for today. I get up and leave him meditating on the rising sun.

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Pit Stop

February 14, 2010
Each and every one of my days is scheduled from waking to sleep. Not like my husband’s schedule in which he is constantly in fear of a flight cancellation between Amsterdam and Barcelona or Tai Pei and Hong Kong. His scheduling concerns are bit more lofty than mine, but not nearly as complicated. Why not? Because he only has to worry about his own schedule.

Not one of my days looks anything like the next day or yesterday. And I like that. Being a Sagittarian that craves variety and freedom and excitement and hustle, I love planning my days with the anticipation of something new and different coming up in a day or a week. But anything I schedule for myself also involves some major arranging (and rearranging) for my sons and their activities.There’s that one time I was called by the casting director of Tyler Perry studios to be an extra on a taping of The House of Payne and I spent the majority of my day on set in makeup and wardrobe. And that time I decided to teach for a week once a month in Jamaica. It took 4 months before I grew bored and stopped going.

The point is, I need variety in my mommypreneur lifestyle. For me, but not for my kids. My older son is a lot like I am – he’s a free spirit, always ready to go anywhere, for any reason, with anyone. My younger son… not so much. He craves routine and schedule and order. And as a responsible mom, I provide it for my kids even though it goes against my natural character.

Each and every day of the week and weekend has a routine. Tuesday for instance is 3:45 – younger son home for snacks, homework and mom time. 4:20 – older son home for snacks, attacking younger brother, and talking non-stop, while I multi-task clean-up, dinner, and prepare to leave for classes at the studio. 5:30 – babysitter arrives. 5:45 – I leave for work. 6:30 – older son leaves for soccer. 7:00 younger son and babysitter interact. 8:00 older son home from soccer. 8:30 we all eat dinner, kids shower and get ready for bed. 9:30 I start yelling to the kids to stop talking and playing and “go to sleep.” 10:00 I repeat yelling to the kids. 10:30 I may possibly still be yelling to the kids to “GO TO SLEEP! I MEAN IT THIS TIME!” Every Tuesday looks just like that without fail. It bores me to tears to have that much routine, but it’s perfect for the boys.

Last week, I decided the kids (and I) needed change and fun and excitement in our schedule. We needed to rekindle our relationship as mommy and boys just like a married couple needs variety to keep the relationship interesting and fresh. I struggled to remember the last time the boys and I had been on a road trip together or racing each other in go-carts or doing any of the things we used to do on a whim. Not in a long time.

Last Wednesday, my night class at the studio didn’t start until 7:45 and neither child had practice or something scheduled to do. So, at 5:30 I announced… “Hey guys, grab your coats and wallets. Let’s go the mall.” Now I know the mall is not really a big deal to most people. However, getting to spend an hour or two just walking through the mall for no good reason is not something I ever do and definitely not with my kids since they grew out of the stroller.

By 5:50, we were at the mall and the boys were excited as they punched each other through the sliding glass doors. We started with the indoor skate park where teens were skateboarding and blading over smooth hills and high-fiving on ramps high above the ground. Then we went to the book store (my boys and I are all book worms. I could have stayed in the bookstore for the rest of the visit, but alas it only lasted 15 minutes) where the boys discussed the latest release of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the new book and movie series that looks just like Harry Potter to me. My older son wanted to spend all of his money on 3 books in the new like-Harry-Potter series, while my younger son discussed the merits of saving your money and checking in the library first as he resolutely returned his book to the shelf (at least I got one to carry on my genes for spending wisely). We then spent the next 5 minutes at the register as I turned my older son’s POS into an extended math word problem. I apologized to the people standing in line behind us, but if you don’t teach them early about money, tax calculations and change, they’ll be fools as men, and this momma is not raising any irresponsible fools.

We eventually left the bookstore to walk and window shop. Our next stops included the Lego Store, the Japanese import store (they carry real swords and Japanese comic books which were both of major interest to my sons), and the candy store (where I refused to allow them to buy handfuls of sugar). As we stood at a kiosk purchasing a new wallet for my older son who recently lost his wallet full of money and gift cards (sigh), the younger one saw a trampoline and trapeze at the end of the hall. His little face lit up and he started to dance.

“Oh Mom, can I jump on that thing?” he asked excitedly pointing to a little child jumping barely 2 feet of the trampoline.

I thought about it. Normally, I would say no and we’d rush out of the mall to the next scheduled appointment. Looking at my watch, I quickly calculated the time we had left. There was time. So why not?

“Sure, Honey. Let me finish working with your brother on this wallet thing, okay?”

He started to dance and spin and hum, which he does when he’s really happy. We made our way to the booth and saw that there were two activities that could be purchased for one price. The boys calculated the per person fee, put their money on the counter and raced into the kiosk kicking of coats and shoes as they went.

After 5-10 minutes of back-flipping, jumping to the ceiling of the mall, and sliding through elastic bands, we were finally able to pack up and leave – right on time to put me back on schedule for my class at 7:45.

On the way home, the boys talked about how much fun they’d had and tried to remember the last time we’d done something fun for no reason in the middle of the week. They couldn’t. Neither could I.