November 30, 2012

Find Your Happy Place, Damnit!

I picked up my kids from school yesterday.  I haven’t picked them up from school much for the last 7 weeks.  It’s been an adjustment for me, not being there for everything.  And I’ve written about it before, but the hardest part of the work to family mood change is the level of chaos.  I go from an orderly world where people speak respectfully for the most part to a world where there is arguing and loud voices.  And I feel my insides tighten slightly.  I say to myself, “Relax.  In a minute you’ll remember how to filter out all that noise and confusion.”  So I squeeze my face and try to relax.  And for the record, that’s not how you relax. 


So yesterday after squeezing for a moment and still feeling this slight panic rising in me—I asked the boys to take a moment and be completely quiet.  Shockingly, I didn’t read that in a parenting book, especially not one for boys.  But I told them to be completely silent for 2 minutes.  I wanted them to find something a happy place inside.  I explained the level of chaos in the car was too high, and we all needed to find some peace before we moved on.


They got quiet.  I might have mentioned throwing away their birthday presents or something, but can’t remember for sure.  The bottom line is that they were completely quiet.  I’m big on yoga, so I do nerdy things like tell them to breathe, close their eyes and find their happy place.  They did it.  I did too.  I had to relax my body from the barrage of loudddddd.  Seriously, do everyone’s kids argue all the time?  Holy mother! 


After a minute, and I am proud we lasted that whole minute…  I said, “Alright guys, I want you to find that happy place inside , that peace so we can enjoy our time together.


Now at this point, even I realize I sound like a freak.  I am thinking they should be mocking me and telling me I am a noodle head or something.  But they didn’t.  They both found the humor in breathing funny and closing their eyes for 2 or 3 second intervals.  There’s humor everywhere, even if they didn’t find the obvious humor in me making two crazy boys do yoga outside the school yard. 


Finally, Mack, my 9 year old spoke up.  It was ok.  I was bored of that 60 seconds of quiet too.  “Mom, I found you, now can we talk again?” 


My son called me his happy place, his peace.  Really?  I had to double-check.  He said, “Mom, you are those things for me,” when I checked for meaning.


It’s not the point of yoga, of looking inward, of finding your own peace and joy.  It’s inherently opposite of looking internally.  And it’s completely against the philosophy I was trying to instill.  But it was completely awesome that my son told me I was his happy place.  I often wonder if my kids ever feel that safety that I thought I would give as a parent.  I wonder if between the rules and chores and daily schedules, they know how strongly I feel each moment.  I wonder if they sense through my hugs and silly comments and games and made up “things” like back massages or bedtime togetherness so I can spend time with them alone each day, how much I love them.  I wonder if they feel “safe and secure” when I am around.  And although my son wasn’t terribly verbose like I would have been, I felt like he told me something that made my life complete to this day.  Yes, it was that special. 


To the moments that make you want to whip out a celebratory martini instead of one of those alcoholic, mothering martinis!  Cheers to moments of beauty, clarity and happiness!