November 3, 2008

Mothering Is Like Meditating...

Seriously. Like a non-stop, never-ending meditation retreat. I find it impossible to cling too fiercely to the illusion of permanence when each moment presents me with a beautiful, fickle little creature who encounters every object, moment, and experience with his whole being; sometimes his whole body seems to hum with his delight, but just as quickly he finds something frustrating or upsetting. He's so obviously outside of my control that even I, practiced as I am at convincing myself I'm in charge, cannot begin to believe it is so when I'm with Kai.

There are those moments that of non-attachment, equanimity, and deep-calm-love, like when I remember to just look at Kai as he falls asleep nursing at night. Or when, as this morning, I discover something that will make him laugh right at that moment - what makes him laugh one moment does not necessarily have that effect in the next! This morning, he loved the sound of the word "oops" and couldn't get enough of it, laughing wildly whenever he heard it repeated.

But as with meditation retreats, such moments are fleeting and impermanent...thankfully that is obvious, so I can handle the more tedious moments of tantrums or exhaustion.

Today and yesterday were also filled with such moments - over the weekend, Bob both began a new job at a local training studio and threw his back out. Meaning that I was on Kai duty nearly by myself all weekend. Kai also developed a cold Friday evening, and for two nights woke up approximately every 20 -45 minutes. Add the time change this weekend, and he has been starting his days at 5am or earlier. Tired mommy. Tired mommy with no breaks during the day, and temporarily missing her extra hour of morning catch-up sleep while daddy recovers.

Every time I lost it this weekend - and my friends, I did lose it a few times, having to leave the room, Bob lying on the floor with Kai confined to a small space next to him for a few moments, because I was just so very tired and emotionally exhausted from keeping up with my sweet, crazy toddler. So yes, every time I lost it this weekend, I brought myself back into the game of parenting by reminding myself of the impermanence of the situation, and thinking about days 6 and 7 of my past 10-day meditation retreats. I have felt "done" each time at that point, and have just wished I could go home and be done with it already. But I've always dug down deep and pushed through, coming to something new and more complete in my final days as a result.

So that's what I did this weekend. And I discovered a well of playfulness deep inside me even in the late hours of the day, a time for which I had been telling myself I was utterly hopeless. I discovered that Kai likes being chased and tickled while he crawls around. That he'll chase me if I crawl away quickly and hide nearby, peeking around the corner from my hiding place and giggling. And that he will curl up happily in my lap to be read to for long periods of time. Oh, and apparently, he finds it quite soothing to listen as I quietly repeat "O-Baaa-Maaa" over and over again with the hope that he'll learn the word and make it his fourth (he's already got "mama," "papa," and "up" down pat).

I thought I was logging on to let you know that it's been a busy, tiring few days, and I'd be back for a longer post tomorrow. But then this turned itself into a longer post. So instead I'll say that tomorrow I'll be back with a more thought through and proofread post!

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