This is a Meditating Mom

Why is it that we do all of this work in preparation: I ate the right things when I was pregnant, fed them the right things when they were born, took them to the best daycare I could afford, was/am involved in the school. Does it all add up? Does it make a difference? What if it doesn’t?

 

By Dana Gornall

Plumping up my bed pillow, I fold it in half, and perch myself on top of it.

I should really get a zafu, or a meditation cushion, but a pillow also works. I’m a mom, and a meditating mom at that, so you make do with what you’ve got. I wrap my legs into a cross legged seated position, and hit the meditation app on my phone that plays a chime, signaling for me to begin.

I close my eyes.

I wonder if I should keep them slightly open, but I always seem to be better focused with eyes closed. I breathe in, breathe out. The ceiling fan buzzes and swishes the air with a steady rhythm, swoop, swoop, swoop. I note the sound.

What time is it? Should my son be home yet? He comes home late every night now. I feel the urge to check the time on my phone, but I don’t.

Swoop, swoop, swoop.

I wonder if maybe I should have worked less when my children were growing up. At the time working long hours seemed like the only option to make all of the ends meet, but now I wonder if I should have found a way to work less. Was there a way?

I wonder if I am a good enough mom. I wonder if they know I don’t know what I am doing and that I am making it up as I go along. I wonder what they see when they see me.

I breathe in and breathe out. Swoop, swoop, swoop.

Thoughts drift back to where my son could be at this time. Is he where he said he would be? Is he safe? It was just a month ago when he flooded his car engine after going down that street I had warned him not to go down. Why don’t kids listen?

Why is it that we do all of this work in preparation: I ate the right things when I was pregnant, fed them the right things when they were born, took them to the best daycare I could afford, was/am involved in the school. Does it all add up? Does it make a difference? What if it doesn’t?

Breathe in, breathe out. Swoop, swoop, swoop.

A slight pause in thought; my mind resting between the spaces of each fan blade as it hits the air.

I would think it all has to count for something. All of those harried mornings and laid back Sundays, all of those trips to school and conversations in the car, all of the dinners and family gatherings, have to add up to a somewhat balanced life. I would think. Yet it can be difficult, lying here awake very late into the night and very early into the morning, questioning whether or not I could have done it differently—better.

Swoop, swoop, swoop.

This isn’t meditation, my mind tells me. You are thinking, overthinking. The mental gymnastics of weaving off the path and then hooking it by the tail and bringing it back seems to be an endless struggle.

Still that must count for something too.

That’s when it dawned on me, like a mirror unearthed from somewhere unknown, the places we often try to reach when we want to, but often can’t find except in moments of stillness. It’s the wandering and bringing back, the weaving back and forth, the metaphorical gymnastics of pushing the boundaries and gently grabbing a hand and guiding them back that is the parenting practice that makes all of the difference.

Swoop, swoop, swoop.

Slightly stunned by that understanding, I only heard the fan blades for a moment and then a feeling of calm washed over me. The buzzing of thoughts subsided, the need to check my phone for the time, the worry that he was in the wrong place at the right time or the right place at the wrong time all faded away for just a moment.

It all adds up to something. Every effort, every action, every choice or inaction, builds on something.

The chime went off signaling the end of my session.

Swoop, swoop, swoop.

I open my eyes.

 

Every effort, every action, every choice or inaction, builds on something. ~ Dana Gornall Click To Tweet

Photo: Pixabay

Editor: Peter Schaller

 

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