I was doing my yoga practice this morning. And, as has been a common occurence this summer, my youngest daughter had made her way to my bed when she awoke and was watching my TV. It is a bit difficult to concentrate on the yoga video playing on the laptop while hearing Phineas and Ferb scheme in the back ground — but still, it’s a nice time of my daughter asking questions about yoga and me trying to explain a feeling to her. She often joins in, as she did this morning.
She became very curious this morning when I had finished with my practice and was beginning my savasana. She asked if I was ok. Sometimes I find myself crying, only slightly, when I’m doing savasana. I’ve gotten so used to it I wipe my tears and sweat without thinking. But this morning, I had company. So she asked if I was ok. I was, actually. I was very ok, actually. I explained to her what savasana was and asked her if she wanted to try — she did. I positioned her next to me in the corpse pose and then resumed my own. And there we were, lost in our thoughts — together. After a couple of minutes I felt her soft warm hand making its way into mine — and there was my connection. Lying beside me, steadying my thoughts and nurturing my soul — her soft warm hand did all of that… and I wiped a tear from my cheek.
Later in the day, as my older children were off at a swimming party, my youngest and I set out to the movies and dinner together — I can’t imagine a more perfect date. We settled into our seats at the theater and were immediately captivated by the previews. When the movie started, it had some scenes at the beginning that were a bit sad. I reached over and held her soft warm hand in mine once again, there in the dark of the theater during the sad parts. And she smiled at me. And we were connected.
I was talking with a friend recently and told her of how my kids had spent their first night away from me and at their father’s house. She asked, in a very concerned voice, how I was. My reply was quick and sure because I was great. I told her it was nice to be alone with my thoughts and a book and this keyboard. I told her it was refreshing. Her distorted look let me know I had committed a “mommie crime”. So I immediately added that I was sure it would be difficult next time.
Well next time is here and still… I’m good. I’m here, in my room typing away on this keyboard uninterrupted and although I love my children more than words can describe, I am here, in this moment, content and happy and once again surrounded by a lovely silence.
I’ve never claimed to be the best mother, I’ve only claimed to not be the worst. I rarely ever left my kids to go out with friends. I have used a baby-sitter less than 5 times that I can think of — my oldest is 14. I used to think this meant I was better than most. I stayed home, I put off my life to ensure theirs. Now, I question many decisions. I read this post by a wonderful writer, mother, and friend. And I started to question. Questioning leads to improvement… I hope.
So, tonight, on the second night that my children are sleeping over at their dad’s house, I am content. I am profoundly content in my aloneness and in their awayness. I am here, in this moment, and I am resting comfortably.
Tomorrow night, when my kids are back here, I will read them stories and I will talk about boys and girls and video games and I will kiss them goodnight. And I will reach for that soft warm hand that nurtures my soul and I will be connected. But tonight, I will talk to my best friend on the phone, I will turn the TV off, I will read a few favorite blogs, I will eat a bowl of cereal for dinner. I am learning to be a better mother, a better person… a better me. It’s never too late to improve and it’s never too late to get back to basics.
Picture from Kind Over Matter