An unexpected gift

I welcome, Mommy

Hugo and I were down in the basement playroom today. He was happily occupied with blocks, so I decided to take a few moments to meditate. Less than two minutes later I heard a voice from right in front of me.

“I welcome, Mommy,” and I opened my eyes. Hugo says this when he gives us something and sure enough his little hand was held out towards me with something in it. I stretched out my hand to receive – now, what is that?

A cricket! “Aigh!” I yelled then tried to play it off immediately. I don’t want to pass on any prejudice towards bugs that obviously is not innate in my son. I assumed the reason Hugo was able to pick it up was its deceased status, but it promptly began hopping across the floor. How did he catch it?

I lifted up the slip cover so it could hop under the couch. Too far from an exit to take it outside and I had no interest in squishing it.

“I want bug! I want bug!” Then “[Where] are you, bug?” What a boy.

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When does Mommy meditate?

Hugo concentrating

Meditating on toy selection?

I’ve been meditating twice a day for a half hour since 2006. I started meditating in 1995 but I hardly ever missed one from 2006 to 2011. And then came Hugo!

I can’t say enough about how regular meditation improved my life. My mind was clearer, there was less noise in my head, I didn’t struggle with decisions, took things a lot less personally, I was more calm and happy – that is just the beginning. It was a lovely thing to share with my husband, too. We meditated together since 2009.

It grew difficult to sit up straight for a half hour sometimes as my pregnancy progressed. By the end of the third trimester, I was usually sitting for only 20 minutes. I had restless leg syndrome, and it was a lot worse in the evening.

I was conscious of hearing my mantra all through my body while pregnant – knowing that the sound was permeating Hugo’s body, too. I had no expectation that I wouldn’t be able to meditate after Hugo arrived. I don’t think I really had any clue what life was going to be like with baby at all.

I was pretty persistent after four years of never missing a meditation. In the hospital, we were constantly  interrupted by a stream of staff members and visitors.

At home, I didn’t wake up for the day until Hugo woke up. Partly to compensate for his night wakings, and I think he and I naturally fell into a sleep rhythm. Especially once he started sleeping with us at five weeks or so.

Hugo nursed a lot in the morning when he was a newborn. At first I meditated while he was nursing, but it was hard not to focus on him. Then he became more active and it was impossible. He does take a regular nap in the mornings now, but I am usually trying to scarf down breakfast and shower before he wakes up.

I have persevered with the evening meditation. Hugo used to take a half hour nap in my lap some time between 4:00 and 7:00 so we could fit it in then. Now he goes to bed between 7:00 and 8:00. That leaves plenty of time to meditate, but sometimes I wait too long and can’t stay awake when I try.

My back muscles are a mess since my pregnancy. I can’t even sit up straight. So many things get in the way when it’s not a habit anymore.

Sometimes when I’m putting Hugo down for a nap or for bedtime, I remember to reconnect with the stillness for a few moments. It helps get me through to the next time and provides some quiet and peace.

There is more space to breathe now. My mind isn’t the Gortex (Go + vortex) that it was the first few months after Hugo was born. I hope that the time opens up soon so I can meditate regularly again. For everyone’s sake.