Mothering, Pondering

End of summer mehs

Texas summer is hot, hot, hot. And it is hot through October. But summer ends well before the heat ends. Pools close, Halloween candy covers the shelves, and school begins. Just like everyplace else.

There is an air of transition. It’s different than most seasonal transitions. I wouldn’t call it The Blues. I’ll call it, The Mehs. The indifference, the lack of happiness or sadness. That “I’m ready for this but I could take it or leave it” feeling.

This coming week, Dove turns 9, we go for sneak-a-peek at her new school, and we bunker down for fall. In our tank tops and shorts. Are we excited? “Kinda,” Dove says. Meh.

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About Breathing, Mothering, Yoga off the mat

About breathing, pt 2: It will click when you least expect it

In and out. Those are the basics. Fresh and clean in, used and finished out.

There are a multitude of breaths, or pranayama, in yoga. Tools to calm us, OR, to speed things up, to cool or heat the body, with the ultimate end goal of stilling the mind. Some call this zen, but I’m not clear on the differences between Buddhism and Yoga yet, so I will plainly call it stillness.

This past Sunday, my son (who will be three in November) fell on our brick hearth. I was not there to see it, but my daughter ran in to me, pleading “come now, please, Strider* hit his head and there’s a lot of blood.” Her panic was palpable. I immediately kicked into stoic mode.

What is stoic mode? Probably not a real thing, but for me, it is when I shuck off my emotions and shut down whatever I’m doing to focus on what is happening at that precise moment.

Stop what you’re doing. Go with her. How is Strider (son)? Crying, Dad has a paper towel and is holding it on Strider’s head. There is blood.

“Everyone needs shoes,” I say. “Let me finish brushing my teeth.” Dad is sitting in the backseat with Strider. Dove (daughter) in the front with me.

“He didn’t pass out,” I think/say. I call Bluetooth calling Urgent Care. Didn’t pass out, no vomiting, bleeding stopped. Ok put us on the list. “He’s not even crying anymore.”

Dove is close to hyperventilating. I turn off the music. I start paying attention to my breath.

“We’re lucky the doctor can see us today, we’ll be there in ten minutes.” Just now I begin to pay attention to how I breathe. In slowly, three, four. Hold. Out, two, three, four. My right hand is on my daughter’s knee. She rarely gets to sit shotgun, but she needs to be here today.

Upon arrival, the staff at Urgent Care takes a look at him and tells us he’ll probably have to go to the hospital because you can see his skull and they aren’t capable of MRI. Please wait and the doctor will see us.

We sure did get transferred. Three hours and ten stitches later we were home. We set an early bedtime.

“Mom, how did you stay so calm?” Dove asked me at bedtime. I am not always even and calm. It takes awareness, focus, and patience… also time.

“I’m not always that way,” I admitted. “As you know. But I can really turn it on when I need to.”

“How?” She asked.

“It takes a lot of practice.” We both laughed.

I would not say that practicing yoga will make you immune to stress or the dramas of life. But with practice, you might at least be able to turn it on and glide through.

AND! Strider got his stitches out today!

Mothering, Pondering, Yoga off the mat

Lessons from the Atlantic

Our family is vacationing on the sandy shores of southern Maine, aka Back Home for me. Our first beach day, coordinating boogie boards and SPFs proved to take a little longer than expected, so we arrived towards the end of the low tide coming in.

Man did we get thrashed. The waves were deceptively rough, making for lots of giggles in the beginning but resulting in bathing suits full of sand, goggles and hair-ties being swept from our possession, and extra salty tears.

My 8 year-old, an accomplished swimmer and aspiring marine biologist, took the brunt of Mother Ocean’s teachings. There is always another wave coming. Sometimes the shiny are revealed to be trash when you’ve finally got them in hand. If a great force takes your goggles, you will never see them again… let go and commit to holding more tightly next time. Sometimes you have to submit to the sand and accept it as part of the experience.

We all got beat up pretty well on that first beach day. I was worried that the kids wouldn’t want to go back. But we did! Before low tide. The tide was calmer, the surf gentle. We collected shells and whole crab carcasses, marveling at how clear and warm the tide pools were. “It’s nice to have a relaxed beach day,” my 8 year-old commented, “but the waves are too gentle to (body) board. So I guess it’s good we can have it both ways.”

Truth, baby. That’s the truth.

Mothering, Yoga off the mat, Yoga on The Farm

This morning

It’s been nutty. My family has a pretty rugged virus that clobbered my husband and kids… fever, rash, I’ll spare you the gory details. Thankfully, I’ve remained healthy. The school year ends today, and as a mom and a PTA coordinator of things, this past month has been consuming. Our fridge died over Memorial Day weekend, and we’ve been eating out of a cooler for a week.

I have NOT been putting my oxygen mask on first, as they say. My cup is empty.

But today, this morning, there was a marked shift. Fevers are gone. It’s the last day of school! The loaner fridge arrives in 45 minutes.

AND, I went to the farm. My son and I met our friends M, the chickens, and Scout the yellow lab, and we talked. We played. We discovered chickens might (and do!) eat their own eggs if given the opportunity.

This is the land I will be teaching my first yoga series on. I tested my portable speaker. I waited for the heat to come, and it didn’t. It was shady, it was breezy, it was cool. There were birds singing. A crane hung out in the pond (pictured, look closely).

While there were no asanas / poses, there was no workout, this morning, I practiced yoga. I finally filled my cup. Breathed in that oxygen. Connected.

AND, I brought home some farm fresh eggs! Not a full dozen, though, because my son, the two year-old scientist, experimented and broke a few. How else would we have learned that chickens can be cannibals?

Living with intention, Mothering

I’m Here. 

image.jpgI’ve been showing up to yoga classes, whether I want to get out of bed or not. I have a toddler who will not sleep through the night. He was for a while. But now he’s not.

Yesterday, when I arrived at class (after feeding two kids, dressing one, then dropping the other off at school) there was one “good”‘spot left in the studio. There was a yoga block there and I didn’t know this was intended to save a spot for someone.

I began to unfurl my mat, and the woman beside me said, “Oh, this space is taken.” Before thinking, without any filter, I replied, “I’m here.”

“But she comes all the time.”

I didnt know what to say. My teacher, ever the mind reader and peacemaker, called me and said “Look, I can make room next to me!”

I sat on my mat and set my intentions on learning to listen and respond thoughtfully. It occurred to me that saving a spot at a yoga class is very anti yoga. But so is my overreacting and playing the exchange over and over in my head.

I have two children. They take up space in my life. They do things like get sick, bite my yoga blocks, take too long to get dressed, forget their backpack… There are ways in which it is so hard to show up. But I’m here.

Living with intention, meditation, Mothering

In Medias Res

I have not posted in a number of days. I have written, I have practiced yoga, but I have not given myself the space to sit down and write something that is complete. 

Today, I am giving myself permission to write and post in medias res, “into the middle of things.” It will never be the beginning or the end for me. I am a parent, I am trying to make all the things happen all the time. So it’s ok if things are always in progress and under construction. 

We’ve had illness in our home, fevers and chills and things of that sort. As The Mom it is me that administers the medication, makes the matzo ball soup, takes the temperatures, and washes the sheets. Especially when my husband is one of the fevered and fallen. 

Now things are looking up. My daughter is back at school, my husband is back at work, the toddler (although teething) actually slept last night. And today I went to te advanced yoga class, so I’m taking five minutes to write before I go retrieve the toddler from the nursery, and on we go. 

Notes on today’s practice: today I made a point to set my intention before we began our flow. I set my intention on willpower. It was a sweaty, fast-paced class and I am feeling clear. Essential oils used during savasana: Orange and sandalwood. 

I would like to report back on how the willpower intention carried through the day… I hope I get to do so, but if not, well, here we go…