Foiled Again

5 Nov

I love daylight savings in the fall. I’ve been waiting to fall back for weeks now. My grand master plan (insert evil laugh here) is to wear the kids out by day, keep them up late and have them sleep in according to the new clock. This plan then allows me to stay on the old time, easily waking an hour early to have a quiet hour to myself to meditate or practice yoga.

It’s 5:45am at the Gallagher house and I’m starting to rouse on my own, before the alarm clock. Yay! The plan is working. I roll over and smile inside – man I’m good. The next thing I hear is my seven-year old “whisper-yelling”.  Now in my tiny little house, if one person is rustling, whispering, or breathing too loudly, we’re all awake. Eeek. As it turns out, Kieran was stealing a pillow from his big brother. Yep, while he’s asleep. Nope, it didn’t go over very well. It was a big commotion and I had to drag Kieran into the closet so I could have a dharma talk with him about loving-kindness without waking the house.

Sigh. The master plan was foiled again.

I take safety pins and pin Kieran to his mattress by his pajamas – oh wait, I’m going into fantasy mode again – I mean, I tucked Kieran into my bed and went downstairs to start my meditation. Once again it seemed like a beautiful day.

Thud, thud, thud. That’s the sound of Kieran coming down my stairs. Let me tell you a bit about son #2. My Kieran doesn’t do anything quietly. He doesn’t do anything slowly. Everything is a competition. He’s the number two child. That’s his job.

On to plan B… let’s put this kid into meditation. I do meditation with the kids occasionally, so Kieran knew what to do. I gave him my mala beads to help him focus and set the timer for seven minutes – one minute for every year old he is. I gave him a little mantra to repeat for each bead, “I can use my voice wisely”. He was really excited about it. I explained that getting around the set of mala beads one breath at a time usually takes about 15 minutes, so he might just get around the beads half way and that’s just fine. After working in the kitchen for about two minutes, I heard Kieran yell “YES! Mom I already got around the beads one time!” Every couple of minutes he would squeal with delight at how fast he was able to accomplish this goal of his. At the end of the seven minutes he came to me and was so proud that he flew through his meditation so quickly! Well, his loud voice woke the other kids so our day began much earlier than planned.

Foiled again.

It’s so obvious to see that my little man had no clue why he was sitting in meditation. To him it was a chore that he could accomplish by going faster and being efficient. He certainly wasn’t paying attention to his mantra. But I have to admit that minutes earlier in my own meditation I actually caught myself thinking, “Wow. I’m meditating so much better today than yesterday.”

Foiled again.

2 Responses to “Foiled Again”

  1. greenfrog November 5, 2007 at 5:38 pm #

    What a great way to introduce meditation to kids! I’ve always avoided using mala beads out of concern that they would be too distracting or alien-seeming to my family, but reading this, I can readily see how they could be helpful, not only for you, but for your son, as well.

    My youngest son practices yoga with me every now and again, which delights me, though as a young adolescent (about to turn 13), he isn’t always pleasant about practice. My oldest (a missionary, now) didn’t ever really have any interest in yoga or meditation, but I did manage to teach him a few pranayama practices (though I didn’t call them that ;-)) to help manage moods and anger.

    I’d love to hear more about how you navigate the waters between your community religious practice and your personal spiritual practice. I fear I haven’t done a very good job of integrating the two, though on Friday, I’ll have a chance to do so. For years, my wife and I have been a part of an LDS discussion group, and on Friday, they’ve asked me to talk to them about yoga (ideas, more than postures, but probably a little bit of both). As several in the group are MDs, I’m thinking about using a couple of clips from the Speaking of Faith interview of Matthew Sanford as a springboard for discussion.


  2. Andie November 6, 2007 at 12:32 am #

    I LOVE this story! Kids make every day an adventure, don’t they? I just received some mala beads for my birthday from my sister in law. Well, I take that back, she sent them a month ago thinking our wedding anniversary was my bday, The two are exactly one month apart on the 10th. Being a good giftee, I wrapped them back up and am waiting patiently to open them again for my REAL birthday along with the other gift she sent that was totally wrapped! Secretly.. I can’t wait :p


    PS – “I would have gotten away with it .. if it hadn’t been for you kids!” Heh heh… Such a new meaning as a parent. 😀

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