Archive | January, 2009

Parenting tip #2016

30 Jan

Home-made chocolate frosting on graham crackers is like truth syrum for boys.

I actually stopped working today. Once at 2:30 and again at 3:30. I greeted each son with a big bowl of chocolate frosting and some graham crackers. We sat at the kitchen table and I shut up for once. (I literally sat there and reminded myself, “be quiet, be quiet”) You wouldn’t believe all of the juicy news and personal details my boys shared with me. Brandon knows incredible details about the restrictions on the Chinese New Year candy manufacturing and we laughed about how his difficult teacher is paranoid that someone will steal his pencil even though his top right drawer is filled to the brim with sharpened pencils – just in case. Kieran shared that the mean kid at school goes to church but doesn’t learn anything because he is obsessed with violent weapons. He also shared that he gets nervous when he’s late places. (poor baby, that’s with ME as his mom… now I know) Once the chocolate was gone, they went up to their rooms where they will subside into a testosterone induced period of forgetting how to talk and share. It would be quiet around here if Drew weren’t singing ABC’s at the top of her lungs.

Eternally/Blissful/Yoga Magazine Yoga News Feed

23 Jan

Bush write letter to YogaDawg.

Space

23 Jan

Look at that HUGE smile on Brandon’s face! Wow, he’s really happy today. It must be relief that he’s finally taller than me.

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I grew up in a family of 4 sisters and it seemed that for most of my childhood, I was surrounded by girls. To his credit, my Dad never balked at having all daughters and seemed to think that girls were the way to go.  When I found out during my first pregnancy that I was having a boy, I was elated. I also braced myself for all of the stereo-typical boy things like: loudness, rowdiness, sports, agression, messes, and lack of communication. I expected that teenage boys would eat me out of house and home, and be full of agression. Nobody prepared me for the real truth.

The truth is that my boys as little ones were SO cuddly and sweet. They were affectionate and loving. Active? Yes. Loud? Often. But these boys come with a sense of kindness, justice and gentleness. Having a teenage boy has been a surprise. It turns out there’s not so much aggression as I thought, and he doesn’t eat me out of house and home,  he just eats me out of junk food. And an occasional bacon-burger elevates my cool-parent status faster than anything.

This phase of parenthood is teaching me a lot about how I want to control the world, a lot about giving my teenager enough space to be as he is and try to balance that with some guidance. I’m learning not to be offended by one word answers and the classic response of “OK” or “I know” when I tell him I love him. I’m learning that being with him, even if he doesn’t talk and has his ear buds in is often enough. And mostly, I’m learning to be in the moment, THE MOMENT – when he does get the bug to really talk. I’m constantly amazed at how Brandon views the world, how mature some of his viewpoints are and how well he can articulate himself in written form. I’m amazed at how good he is at doing chores without complaint and I love the way he finds friends that are just good kids.

I am also learning that letting go is an important part of my kids’ growing up, and that letting go means not trying to shape every viewpoint and decision that he makes. It seems that sometimes letting go is just too much to ask of myself, but letting life and my teenager be as they are is quite peaceful. Accepting change is very humbling for me.

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Check out Bran – he’s really doing a great job of tolerating me. I’ve put “give mom a hug” on his daily list of chores so that I get a tiny bit of love every day.  I really appreciate his little one-armed, half-assed hugs that I get every day, even if it means he just wants to finish his chore list and get on to his gaming. I think I see a tiny bit of relief from him, like – yea, my mom still loves me. I really like this teenage phase. If you have any extra teenagers driving you nuts, send them my way.

Ritual

18 Jan

I’ve decided that I need to add more ritual into my day. Not things that other people tell me that I should do, but rituals that are interwoven into my day,  that actually mean something to me. Ways to help me remember to move with love and intention.

I went to the business day of the Yoga Journal Conference yesterday. It was fun for me to listen to Jasmine and Dana, the co-owners (they would say co-creators) of Laughing Lotus yoga studio in SF and NYC. As I expected, they spoke in that quintisential yogi way – a bit rambling – lots of words like transformation, grace, sacred, spiritual, devotion, oozing joy. I even heard one of them say the word (hm) “true-ism”. I guess I was expecting a day of business formulas and marketing experts full of tried and true techniques. Instead, much to my joy, I got to listen to Jasmine and Dana, sitting in the conference room stacking chairs sitting in lotus, talking about how business is their spiritual practice.

Those women are hilarious and really embody the message they are presenting – that yoga and spirituality actually help us experience joy. Jasmine spoke about how Laughing Lotus is her baby and her parents call it their grandbaby and have nicknamed the studio LoLo. She said that whether she’s paying taxes or scrubbing the toilet, she feels like she’s bathing her baby and caring for it. She’s named the studio vacuum Ganesha. She’s a riot – I wonder if she’d have enough energy for all of that with 3 kids at her heels. Maybe she’d borrow mine occasionally. I think they’d really enjoy her. She’s got so much enthusiasm and shakti – I think she’d be really successful at getting them to do their homework.

I don’t know – I have so much responsibility in my life, and I tend to be a very responsible person in the first place. Everything in my life is something I wanted: the husband, the kids, the cat, the house, the yoga studio. It’s a great life and I’m SO grateful. But – often I just forget that element of Leela – that element of play, that life is a game and it’s actually a joy. That what seems like a burden is actually a blessing.

My mother came to town yesterday to watch the kids while I was in SF. She left me a sad message saying that Drew was sick. When I got home, Drew had been throwing up all day and was sound asleep. She woke soon after I got home and as I scooped her up to cuddle her, she barfed all over me. Somehow – after a day of absorbing yoga chat – it didn’t bother me. I was glad to be able to help her and even though I’m pretty tired after being up with her last night, I’m just glad to have piles of dirty laundry to do, glad to have little people (and bigger people – have you seen Brandon lately?) who wear them – in my life.

Today I’m playing with ritual – trying to find ways of integrating the spiritual into the mundane tasks to help me remember the joy of my responsibilties. I think my vacuum definitely needs a name and snack-time must include a meditation on chocolate.  Now how can I make filing papers more fun? I’ll have to ponder this one…

Out of the mouth of babes

10 Jan

This morning while getting dressed with Drew hovering:

Drew: Mom, what are those called again?

Me: These? (pointing to my chest)

Drew: Yep

Me: Breasts (I’ve always hated that word, but I’m adimant about teaching the kids accurate terminology)

Drew: I’m going to have those big breasts when I grow up.

Me: Yep, when you grow up. (feeling very flattered)

-I’m done getting dressed, I walk into her room, and bend over to get her clothes out of the bottom dresser drawer.-

Drew (excited!): And a big bottom too!

Me: Yes! Only if you’re lucky…. (I’m a good faker – how’s that for building good self-body image/regaining humility?)

I resolve!

6 Jan

How are these for Buddhist/Yogi New Year’s resolutions?

1. To speak more clearly.
2. To be more comfortable being uncomfortable.
3. To stay in present – especially with my kids.
4. To take care of myself as well as I take care of others.
5. To master pincha mayarasana – consistently and not just on a whim, wondering how I got hanging out there stable as a rock?
6. To fill every Cosmic Dog class until the place is bursting.
7. Dare I say it? Lose those pesky 10 pounds – which is really going to help my pincha.
8. Gut and get rid of every single piece of clutter in my life that is either non-essential or not beautiful.
9. Organize the garage, file and/or destroy every single piece of paper floating through my space, maintain folded clothes in the kids’ closets, alphabetize my spice rack.
10. Save more than I spend.
11. Finish reading books instead of stopping 50 pages before the end.
12. Finish my year of Vegetarianism, thus reaching my goal and never having another issue with wanting meat. Again. (September)
13. Oh yea – have more fun.
14. And – put a stop to the “wanting mind”.

Ha! The mind is a funny, funny thing – isn’t it?